Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Medjugorje: Cardinal Puljic affirms authority of local bishop

Note: There are some foreign language links here for which you can get a rough translation with the use of Google translation tools.

I have been tracking this story in it's various forms since it emerged in the paper of the BiH Bishop's Conference (Bosnia and Herzegovina).  However, the piece was not available in English and it was chased with, fairly quickly, an interview by Zenit on the same subject this past Friday, but only in Italian.  I figured it would be out on Monday in English and it was.  I'll be excerpting this and commenting in between. Emphases mine in bold.


By Chiara Santomiero


ROME, NOV. 23, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Bosnian episcopal conference has been in Rome, but not to discuss the controversy surrounding Medjugorje, as some reports have contended.


Instead, Cardinal Vinko Puljic participated last week in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which focused on St. Paul and the "new areopagi."


The cardinal did talk to ZENIT about Medjugorje, affirming that the reports of apparitions there and the consequent popularity of the site for pilgrimages is a matter dealt with by the bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric, and the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"As an episcopal conference, we await suggestions and proposals on how to proceed, and I believe the Holy See wants to carry on in this way," he added.

I want to stop here for a minute because this is an important point.  The Cardinal affirms the authority of the local bishop.  Why is this important? The bishop of Mostar is treated like an enemy by the Medjugorje movement because of the very solid doctrinal position he takes against authenticity (see part 1 and part 2 of his September 26, 2009 statement). 

The bishops of Mostar have been calumniated, and jabbed at with great disrespect by those promoting the apparitions.  These subjective inuendos are then treated as fact by followers and repeated to others.  The end result, sadly, is "seers" vs. bishop, or more accurately, "seers" vs. Church, for whom the bishop speaks. What we are left with is a complete lack of filial reverence for Bishop Peric, and his predecessor, Bishop Zanic.   It serves only to discredit this apostolic successor. 

It has also manifested itself in broad disregard for the bishop's orders to not propogate "messages" (see 1996 homily), among other orders that are not followed ("messages" still appear regular on the website His Excellency identified in his most recent list of prohibitions).  Consider that each message received is obtained through a deliberate act of disobedience on the part "seers" and close associates releasing it.  There can be no justification for this. 
 
Back to the Zenit piece (links are added by me; bold is mine):
 
The 64-year-old cardinal referred back to a 1991 statement from what was then the Yugoslavian bishops' conference. That declaration notes that "nothing supernatural could be confirmed in what was happening, [and] affirmed the responsibility of parish priests and local bishops to pastorally assist all those who go there to pray," he recalled.
There are three possible positions the Church can take.  It is noteworthy, that after 28 years, nothing can be found to suggest that anything supernatural is occuring.  However, the decision does leave the matter open for further study.  While pilgrimages were permitted privately, the cultus was not.  Had a cultus been approved, we would not have seen a prohibition against anything related to "Our Lady of Medjugorje".   The title Queen of Peace - already in the patrimony of the Church, has been in use.
"I hope that the Holy See will give indications on confessions and Eucharistic celebrations," Cardinal Puljic added. "And perhaps also on the establishment of a commission that will follow the phenomenon, recording the contents of the apparitions and of the messages, keeping in mind that up to today there are more than 30,000."

With regards to that last statement, there is no other Church approved apparition that even came close to this.  Any study would indeed compare what is happening in Medjugorje to what we know about authentic apparitions already approved. 

COMMISSION OR NO COMMISSION? WHICH IS IT?
With regards to the Cardinal's statement about a commission, there has been considerable waffling over this issue.  What he says now is almost a reiteration of what he said in 2006.  In June of 2008, in response to talk of a commission in a local paper, Don Ante Luburic, chancellor of the diocese published a statement (if you think he sounds testy at times in this, you have to understand the severe challenges the region is dealing with in the aftermath of war in the fledgling nation, where the Christian minority is enduring certain forms of persecution - something the Italian version discussed, but omitted in the English version):

After reading this, even a more than average reader of “Večernji list” will not know: has the formation of a Commission only been pre-announced or is it really being established? Will it finally become a reality and when? Will it be established at all and when? Will it be under the jurisdiction of the Holy See and in which form? Will it override the competency of the Bishops’ Conference of B-H but not the jurisdiction of the local bishop? The only thing that is certain in all of these media announcements, journalistic fabrications and Radio-Medjugorje guesses is that the local bishop of Mostar knows nothing about it at all!


In December of 2008, a Brazlilian piece in Portugese made the following claim, which is pretty detailed (this is a crude translation from Google):

Three years ago, formed a study group, whose core is composed of thirty people, lay and religious, to examine the veracity of the phenomenon. Driven by the Pontifical International Marian Academy (Pami), an institution linked to the Vatican, are at work in secret and are expected to end until the end of 2009. It's extremely remote the probability that the verdict be in favor of the apparitions in Medjugorje," says one of several consultants Pami. The conclusion of the study group is a key to a final position of the Holy See in relation to the visions of Medjugorje
Is it possible that this is why we are getting news of a commission at work, followed by a denial - because it is not a true commission, but a study group?  There have also been reports of CDF involvement, then denials.  If PAMI is handling the study, then this may explain the confusion.

The timing stated above, goes along with the blogpost by Adam Tanner of Reuters in which he claims to quote Cardinal Puljic as saying:


“We are now awaiting a new directive on this issue....I don’t think we must wait for a long time, I think it will be this year, but that is not clear… I am going to Rome in November and we must discuss this.”

The BiH Conference news site (my first link in this post) specifically denies this claim by Reuters.  Perhaps it was the result of a language barrier, or perhaps it was a denial of certain aspects of the post. Cardinal Puljic pointed out that he is not expecting any document from the CDF. 

Back again to the Zenit article:
When Benedict XVI's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, was secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he wrote a letter backing the 1991 Yugoslavian episcopal conference letter. That was more than a decade ago.



Then, in his book on the apparitions in Fatima, published in 2007, Cardinal Bertone reiterated that the Church has not made an official decision on the site, and that while official pilgrimages are not to be organized, private pilgrimages to Medjugorje are acceptable. Certainly Medjugorje continues to attract thousands of pilgrims, acknowledged Cardinal Puljic.
And, in his 2007 address, Cardinal Bertone also said:
Even if at times the behaviour of diocesan Bishops and their collaborators may be wanting, it is essential to steer clear of the risk of a "Church of apparitions", diffident of the Hierarchy of the Church, as a variant of the well-known opposition of "charismatic Church - institutional Church". In this case, of course, we find that rather than facing a definite ideological position we are up against an attitude lived out and influenced by a somewhat superficial religiosity, a weakened ecclesial communion and a rather shallow faith in need of miraculous signs.
There you have it -  "diffident" [or distrustful] of the Hierarchy - which includes the local bishop and a "weakened ecclesial communion".  There are many erroneous claims out there that the "bishop was removed by the Holy See from the case" or that he was silenced.  This is ludicrous and without foundation.  Cardinal Puljic clearly reaffirms the authority of Bishop Peric.

Further, Monsignor Henri Brincard, speaking on behalf of the French Bishops in 2000, wrote:
Let us recognise that it is not easy to apply faithfully this recommendation. How, in fact, to organise a private pilgrimage without it being motivated by the conviction that the events of Medjugorje are of a supernatural origin? Since this conviction is at the origin of the pilgrimage, does not this latter not become de facto "an authentication of events in course which still necessitate an examination by the Church"?

It is just this difficulty which Cardinal Kuharic and Bishop Zanic foresaw in their joint declaration of 9th January 1987
Msgr. Brincard then cites the case of the Mariavites of Poland as worthy of study.


"It's not a sin to pray," said the cardinal with a smile. "There are many beautiful presences that have generated conversions and priestly or religious vocations. They are the fruits of prayer: Wherever man prays with faith, God gives the fruits of his grace."
This is all true. What is interesting is that all of these converions and vocations are attributed by the movement to the alleged apparition, as opposed to the sacramental grace coming from the Holy Eucharist and confession.  The Cardinal himself attributes them not to the alleged apparition, but to prayer.

"To pray in Marian shrines is part of the identity of our Catholic faithful," the Bosnian cardinal affirmed. "In the course of the problematic events of our history, our people have met repeatedly in the different shrines of the region to ask for consolation, light and hope, and the Virgin is a sign for our faith."



Some are also now spinning that last paragraph in such a way as to suggest that the Church is getting ready to give "shrine status" to Medjugorje.  It is unlikely that this would happen given that such status at the site of a purported apparition does not come until after it is fully approved.  In fact, it is a level of approval.  To give "shrine status", is only second to the visit of a sitting pope, which is considered the highest level of approval the Church can give. 

Medjugorje has not gotten past the stage in which "events" are judged.  Events are always judged before fruits for a very simple reason.  If an appartion claimed that there were eight persons in the Trinity, would we attribute vocations and conversions to such an apparition? If we were to study some of the major condemned apparitions we wil see that there too, were good fruits.  But, God makes good things come from bad (fraud or diabolical influence).  One of the best case studies is that of Magdalen of the Cross.


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!

24 comments:

pilgrim said...

Diane... Still clutching at straws, I see. :)

I’ve posted before on this subject and tried to mark your card.

Now, twist and twirl as much as you like cardinal Puljic’s comments, and go down as many blind alleys as you desire, but it won’t prevent Medjugorje receiving shrine status – International at that.

Might we see you in Medjugorje when that happens? :)

Finally, ever get the impression that the good cardinal Puljic is attempting to keep two camps happy with his mixed messages?

RC said...

Y'know, Pilgrim, I think your last observation is probably right. The Cardinal does send mixed messages, and he may well be doing so in order to avoid offending the pro-Medjugorje audience.

After all, the audience of Medjugorje supporters is bigger than the voices of critics, and, unlike critics, is tempted to rebel against the Church.

(Critics are not likely to be tempted to rebel, because even a favorable declaration from the Church, allowing devotion based on Medjugorje, would not require critics to agree.)

Hey, Diane-- do you think we could get some of these Medjugorje supporters to give us skeptics free round-trips to the place? I hear it's very pretty,

Fr. Philip Pavich could probably tell us what to see there: after being stationed there as a believer, he's written about the "flake dimension" of Medjugorje.

Anonymous said...

It is all very strange. While the Cardianl reasserts the Bishops authority he still refers to the CDF. Card. Bertone does not seem to agree with the local bishop and says pilgriamges are ok. Furthermore in most cases if a bishop doesn't want a priest hearing confeesins or celebrating the Eucharist in his diocese he is forbidden to do so, end of story. But here not so fast; it would be difficult to imagine that thousands of priests and dozens of bishops would disobey their brother. So. clearly the CDF is holding the issue in its hands and it has no obligation to act swiftly as long as the Faith is not being harmed. The CDF was headed by the man who is now the Pope when all this went down. If he felt the bishop was being ignored in his authority it seems likely he would act to protect the episcopal office. Instead we get these occasional statements from Card's in the Holy See and others that point to an on going study of the fruits. There may not be a commitee set up but the CDF is watching and keeping the lid on things. The Cardinal from Vienna is a member of the CDF and a close friend of Benedict XVI and he is going to Med.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Pilgrim said: Now, twist and twirl as much as you like cardinal Puljic’s comments, and go down as many blind alleys as you desire, but it won’t prevent Medjugorje receiving shrine status – International at that.

There's no doubt that I don't have a hand in this at all. It's between Bishop Peric and the CDF according to Cardinal Puljic.

Can you name a single apparition site which received "shrine status" before Church approval?

There is no precedent and as such, odds are highly against any such thing.

Might we see you in Medjugorje when that happens? :)

I've been there. In fact, I lived just 20 minutes away by bus.....for over 2 years. I was there when it all broke out.

If I were capable of foreign travel, I would want to go to Lourdes and Fatima.

Now I would like to ask you, if you will support Bishop Peric should the CDF ultimately back him?

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

I have allowed this ANONYMOUS comment and it is the last. All others will be rejected, so please read my instructions above if you want your comment posted.

Anonymous said: "While the Cardianl reasserts the Bishops authority he still refers to the CDF."

Of course, that is because the CDF is working with Bishop Peric as would be protocol. For the Church to not include the local bishop in something like this would be a break with tradition and protocol. This relationship is affirmed by Cardinal Puljic. His Eminence should be taken at his word.

The problem is that there is much disinformation out on the web with outrageous claims that fly in the face of objective, documented facts.

Card. Bertone does not seem to agree with the local bishop and says pilgriamges are ok.

This is just the kind of disinformation that is causing others to distrust the local bishop. I'm sure you are just repeating what you have found on the web. I would invite you to explore what Cardinal Bertone really said and what he didn't say

Furthermore in most cases if a bishop doesn't want a priest hearing confessions or celebrating the Eucharist in his diocese he is forbidden to do so, end of story. But here not so fast; it would be difficult to imagine that thousands of priests and dozens of bishops would disobey their brother.

I'll use your words: Not so fast! The 1991 Zadar Declaration asked the local bishop and the other bishops of the conference with him, to care pastorally for the many visitors.

It's true that people may make private visits, as long as those visits meet the groundrules laid out by Cardinal Bertone

So. clearly the CDF is holding the issue in its hands and it has no obligation to act swiftly as long as the Faith is not being harmed.

Do you know for a fact that the faith is not being harmed? Is it spiritually healthy to pray Rosaries, spend time in adoration, and go to frequent confession, all the while having contempt in the heart for the local bishop, as some do? Being dismissive and distrustful of the local hierarchy is very damaging to the faith. This is what Cardinal Bertone meant in the quote I pulled out if his 2007 address in the body of my post.

This says nothing of the disunity that is found at every level of the Church over these particular alleged apparitions. People can attest to disunity at the parish and apostolate level. There is disunity within religious and secular orders, in dioceses, and even among Church hierarchy.

The CDF was headed by the man who is now the Pope when all this went down. If he felt the bishop was being ignored in his authority it seems likely he would act to protect the episcopal office.

I personally believe the dignity and credibility of the bishop of Mostar will be redeemed in the not to distant future. And it is precisely because of the way Pope Benedict has dealt with things that leads me to believe this. He has fought hard to combat relativism and consequentialism.

The Cardinal from Vienna is a member of the CDF and a close friend of Benedict XVI and he is going to Med.

And the Cardinal did some back-pedaling pretty quick once it was made public that he was planning to visit. I'm aware that he had Marija in his Cathedral. This flies in the face of collegiality. When a bishop prohibits "seers" from having public manifestations, other bishops ought not be offering them a platform. This too, I believe Pope Benedict will bring under control with time.

pilgrim said...

I've been there. In fact, I lived just 20 minutes away by bus.....for over 2 years. I was there when it all broke out.

Diane, I appreciate you letting me know this.

As to your question re bishop Peric, it really isn’t a question as the CDF very much supports him in his role as bishop of the Church, but unfortunately for the bishop, the CDF does not side with his personal view about the apparitions.

It’s an unfortunate situation for the bishop for while he insists that visiting priests and pilgrims do not express a positive view on the apparitions, he feels free to publicly express his disbelief. And it is not from a Church standpoint because the CDF have not ruled out the apparitions. He speaks only for himself, but yet attempts to suppress the voice of those who do believe.

RC: Fr Pavich did believe. Now he doesn’t. Likewise there are those who once disbelieved but now do. It’s not an argument that brings proof, only an opinion. And for every priest that disbelieves or holds the middle ground, I can show you a priest that believes. I can point to several other Franciscans that have worked in the parish apart from Fr Pavich who do believe.

And RC, if you would like to visit Medjugorje, then why not consider my offer of a round-trip at my expense? Look on it as Christmas gift. I’ll leave the timing to you, but would sometime in 2010 suit? No strings attached. Do your own thing when you get there and check it out.

peace.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Pilgrim says: As to your question re bishop Peric, it really isn’t a question as the CDF very much supports him in his role as bishop of the Church, but unfortunately for the bishop, the CDF does not side with his personal view about the apparitions.

Please offer proof of this, Pilgrim. Where did you read that the CDF doesn't side with the bishop?

It’s an unfortunate situation for the bishop for while he insists that visiting priests and pilgrims do not express a positive view on the apparitions, he feels free to publicly express his disbelief.

Pilgrim, the local bishop is actively involved with discernment, but the Medjugorje movement is in denial about this. The Cardinal just reaffirmed it when he said that the matter is up to Bishop Peric and the CDF. Also, perhaps you have not read the paragraph of Cardinal Bertone's letter (Pr. No 154/81-05922) which read on pilgrimages, "they are permitted 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.

What did Cardinal Bertone mean by this? Does it mean that people are free to go there and then promote as supernatural that which the Church cannot affirm as supernatural?

This is why ought not be promoting such things. What happens if the Church's experts find something which is not visible to ordinary people that thrusts it into condemnation? People who have become attached have difficulty pulling away. This is why the Church moves cautiously.


And it is not from a Church standpoint because the CDF have not ruled out the apparitions. He speaks only for himself, but yet attempts to suppress the voice of those who do believe.

We will see in the end, complete harmony between the Bishop of Mostar and the CDF. The CDF could hve ordered him to remove things from his diocesan website, but it has not. Have you ever considered that he may be responding to the CDF or to PAMI as part of it's continuing investigation to see how people respond? Anything less than full harmony between the local bishop and the CDF on a matter like this would undermine the credibility of Church authority. It ain't gonna happen.

Tominellay said...

Actually, Bishop Peric's directives are entirely consistent with the judgement formula "non constat de supernaturalitate". If the "apparitions cannot be affirmed", then they certainly cannot be affirmed from the pulpit.

And btw, Cardinal Bertone is not a Medjugorje supporter, and his candid remarks in 2005 created a furor among fans of the alleged apparitions.

RC said...

But, Pilgrim, CDF does support the bishop's position. In 2007, Abp. Amato (CDF secretary) asked the bishops of Tuscany to publish Bishop Peric's position statement in their newsletter.

It forbids pilgrimages based on the apparition claims, and it tells the seers and their handlers to stop propaganda, including new "messages". It forbids the term "shrine" for the place.

And CDF routinely refers bishops to the same statement when they ask.

If you don't believe me, I can post a URL of a web page wiith a picture of the Tuscan bishops' newsletter containing the directives. (I'm typing on my phone at the moment.)

Once you're aware that CDF supports the bishop, will you comply with the directives: stop pilgrimages and stop promoting?

Pilgrim, I might take up your offer, but to save money on the hotel, I'd do it after the condemnation comes out. :)

pilgrim said...

Where did you read that the CDF doesn't side with the bishop?

Diane... I actually said: the CDF does not side with his personal view about the apparitions. If it did it would quote “constat de non supernaturalitate” instead of "non constat de supernaturalitate". Refer to Cardinal’s Pulic’s statement of this week.

pilgrim said...

Actually, Bishop Peric's directives are entirely consistent with the judgement formula "non constat de supernaturalitate". If the "apparitions cannot be affirmed", then they certainly cannot be affirmed from the pulpit.

Tominellay... Then why does bishop Peric preach that the apparitions are false when they cannot yet be affirmed? His predecessor, bishop Zanic, did both. He affirmed from the pulpit and then later denied. So there is the bishop Zanic setting the example for bishop Peric to offer his personal view on the apparitions from the altar.

"non constat de supernaturalitate" is not a denial of the apparitions, but “constat de non supernaturalitate” is a denial, while “constat de supernaturalitate” is affirmation that the apparitions are supernatural.

So you see that the Church has declared that it is not established that the apparitions are supernatural. It has not said yes, it has no said no. Further study and time is required.

But ask yourself this question: How long has bishop Peric been the shepherd of his diocese? And only now is he attempting to tidy up any loose ends in respect of canon law? Why the sudden rush and impetus to put everything in its place?

Critics of Medjugorje thought that it was because the Holy See was on its way to condemn the Medjjugorje ‘phenomena’. But no, that hasn’t happened. Have the critics read the signs wrongly? Have they failed to take into account that the Holy See may actually be giving serious consideration to Shrine status?

For instance why does a papal nuncio and a cardinal choose to make visible visits to Medjugorje? The cardinal has openly spoken about what he considers some of the fruits from Medjugorje, especially vocations and the strength of reconciliation, the Church’s forgotten sacrament.

Why are there consistent reports locally that the Holy See has observers in Medjugorje? And why is it instructing the bishop in such a way if observers are not reporting back any difficulties that may hamper the granting of shrine status?

The separation of visionaries/apparitions from liturgical norms has to be seen to be done if Medjugorje is to be given Shrine status. Perhaps this is why the bishop has for so long let things lie, perhaps to hamper any claim for status. Did he fail to agree with his two other bishops when the opportunity was presented for the B&H bishops conference to go down the road of granting national shrine status? But it seems that there are those at the Vatican who want this to happen.

Here is something else to consider. A few months ago it was made very public that the seer Mirjana was not to be allowed to have her apparitions at the Cenacolo Community close to her home in the parish of Medjugorje. She had received her apparitions there for a number of years and the bishop did nothing about it. Why?

The all of a sudden this year comes the announcement that the Cenacolo Community was off-limits for Mirjana and her apparitions. We were given the impression that this was the start of the big clampdown against the visionaries.

However, just last month we learn that the Cenacolo Community had received Pontifical recognition. It is now recognised as an International Association of the Faithful of Pontifical Right – an accepted member of the Church.

Now it seems very clear to me that the bishop of Mostar would have received prior information about this new status for the Cenacolo Community, especially as one of the community houses (perhaps the most well-known) is in his diocese. And quite rightly as an officially recognised Community of the Church, it would not be proper to be hosting visionaries and apparitions still to be approved.

So THAT was the reason the community was ordered not to accommodate Mirjajana and her apparitions. The bishop would have known that the community’s forthcoming status would not allow it to do this.

The directives posted on the Mostar office website may not always reveal the whole story.

Nick said...

I think the confusion over obedience is a confusion over Mary and Church, God and Bishop. You hear many who support Medjugore say, "I must obey God rather than man." Interestingly enough, these words, spoken by the Apostles, refers to commandments of God, not to private matters such as revelations. The commandments of God are in the deposit of faith, which every Christian must accept, while private revelations are not in the deposit of faith, and so, no Christian has to accept them. Even if God ordered every Christian to say a thousand rosaries, no Christian would be bound to obey: not because a Christian is free to disobey but because the revelation is not in the deposit of faith. Certainly we all must pray, certainly we all must obey God, certainly Jesus is the Revelation of God, certainly the Apostles received messages as attested by Scripture, yet all this is a part of the deposit of faith, while private revelations aren't. Since obedience to the Church is part of the deposit of faith, every Christian must obey the Church over a private revelation. Hence, no Christian should feel confused about who to obey - Mary or the Church, God or the Bishop - because we already know Jesus' words: "Whatsoever you do unto the least of My brothers, you do unto Me." Whatsoever we do unto our Bishops, we do unto Him. Let us honor the Bishop, let us honor the Church, let us obey he whom God has appointed and she whom Jesus spilled His Blood for. The Virgin Mary would certainly agree: "Do whatever He tells you," as she said at Cana.

Timothy said...

The English version of the ZENIT article on Cardinal Puljic has been published at: http://www.zenit.org/article-27644?l=english

Here are some excerpts: "I hope that the Holy See will give indications on confessions and Eucharistic celebrations," Cardinal Puljic added. "And perhaps also on the establishment of a commission that will follow the phenomenon, recording the contents of the apparitions and of the messages, keeping in mind that up to today there are more than 30,000."

"It's not a sin to pray," said the cardinal with a smile. "There are many beautiful presences that have generated conversions and priestly or religious vocations. They are the fruits of prayer: Wherever man prays with faith, God gives the fruits of his grace."

"To pray in Marian shrines is part of the identity of our Catholic faithful," the Bosnian cardinal affirmed. "In the course of the problematic events of our history, our people have met repeatedly in the different shrines of the region to ask for consolation, light and hope, and the Virgin is a sign for our faith."

Sounds like Pilgrim is right. Medjugorje is being considered for official Shrine status. It doesn't matter that there hasn't been a precedent of separating the decision on Shrine status from a decision on apparition status. There hasn't been anything like Medjugorje before. The shear number of vocations and conversions can't be ignored, and what better way to recognize these than to designate Medjugorje as a Shrine to Our Lady.

And RC, please do post your evidence that the CDF secretary asked the bishops of Tuscany to publish Bishop Peric's position statement in their newsletter. This is odd to me. Why only ask this group to publish the statement? Seems rather random. Obviously, the CDF hasn't appeared to speak out against the statements or activities of Cardinal Puljic or Cardinal Shonborn. I realize you and Diane are vehemently opposed to the Medjugorje apparitions but why try to reconstruct the CDF or Vatican's position rather than just simply accept accept their current published position as written by Cardinal Bertone, former CDF secretary, at face value? "Cardinal Bertone reiterated that the Church has not made an official decision on the site, and that while official pilgrimages are not to be organized, private pilgrimages to Medjugorje are acceptable."

pilgrim said...

Pilgrim, I might take up your offer, but to save money on the hotel, I'd do it after the condemnation comes out. :)
RC... The hotel cost is met by me. But from your last remark I get the impression that your suggestion for a Medjugorje supporter to fund a visit was not sincere but an opportunity to ridicule their belief.Am I right in thinking this? :(

pilgrim said...

But, Pilgrim, CDF does support the bishop's position.

Not in his claim that the apparitions are false.

In 28 years, the CDF has not issued any directive to the faithful to say that the messages or the claim of apparitions are a danger to the faith and morals of the faithful. They are free to believe. They are free to travel to visit Medjugorje in belief of the apparitions. The CDF has not arrived at a “condemnation” judgment. If it had, why is cardinal Schonborn making a private visit? Or for that matter all the thousands of other priests each year, either privately or accompanying pilgrimage groups as spiritual directors?

And, yes, please let me have the url you refer to. Thank you.

mark waterinckx said...

I do fully agree with this very to the point article from Diane.Some important facts Mgr. Peric confirmed to me this week:
1°There is no Vatican commission working on Med. now
2° Vatican will not publish a new declaration about Med.
3° Bishop Peric of Mostar does not have to go to Rome these times.
And Card. Puljic confirms the authority of bishop Peric about Med.
Also the CDF in the person of Mgr. Levada supports Mgr. Peric.
So everything is clear now.
And not to forget, the 3 principal franciscans who manipulated the whole Med.affair were :
a. Fr. Slavko Barbaric who died in disobedience with his bishop on the Krizevac-mountain. It was forbidden to him to stay any longer in Med. by bishop Peric.
b. Fr. Jozo Zovko, who has been suspended already 3x by his bishop and is now banned far from Med. by the Vatican.
c. (ex-)Fr. Tomislav Vlasic who has been reduced to the lay-status by the pope himself.

pilgrim said...

Nick... all very fine except that the matter of deciding on the validity of the claimed apparitions is not in the bishop’s hands. This was removed many years ago by Cardinal Ratzinger when he was head of the CDF.

It is the CDF that will decide if the claimed apparitions are worthy of belief and not the bishop.

Until it does so, and directs the bishop to announce its decision then we are free to believe.

As to the quote from the Canan wedding: “Do whatever he tells you”, this applies to all aspects of our lives and not to Medjugorje alone whether for or against. The same applies to your other quote: “Whatever you do to others you do to me.” Whatever you do or say against those who believe in Medjugorje, be it ridicule, mockery, anger, calumny, smear, you do it to me.

Before we can honour anyone with a sincere heart we must begin with ourselves.

Dear children! With motherly love I desire to encourage you to love your neighbour. May my Son be the source of that love. He, who could have done everything by force, chose love and gave an example to you. Also today, through me, God expresses immeasurable goodness to you and, you children, are obliged to respond to it. With equal goodness and generosity behave towards the souls whom you meet. May your love convert them. In that way my Son and His love will resurrect in you. Thank you. (message given by Our Lady, July 2, 2008)

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Pilgrim said: all very fine except that the matter of deciding on the validity of the claimed apparitions is not in the bishop’s hands.

Where is your proof? In what document from the Church or from which press release do you find this?

It must be news to Cardinal Puljic since he is the one who just said that Medjugorje"is a matter dealt with by the bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric, and the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith"

Once again, the matter was NOT removed from the bishop's hands. This is a myth propogated by the Medjugorje movement to discredit the local bishop. It is a "Medjugorje vs. Church" argument.

FACT: We have been told why the matter was elevated to the bishop's conference and commission. There is a provision for it in the 1978 Criteria for Discernment of Apparitions which states:

2. But the regional or national episcopal Conference may intervene:

a) If the local Ordinary, after having fulfilled the obligations which fall to him, resorts to them for a study of the event in its entirety.

b) If the event assumes national or regional importance

On January 9, 1987, Cardinal Kuharic gave a press release in the January 18th Glas Koncila which stated:

"During the inquiry these events under investigation have appeared to go much beyond the limits of the diocese. Therefore, on the basis of the said regulations, it became fitting to continue the work at the level of the Bishops' Conference, and thus to form a new Commission for that purpose.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been informed about it. It has expressed its recognition of the Diocesan Commission's work done under the responsibility of the local Ordinary, and it urged that that work be continued at the level of the National Conference of Bishops."


Now, I will allow further comment from you after you have provided the source for your claim that the investigation "was removed from the bishop's hands".

Otherwise, I would ask that you stop spreading this untruth and confusing the faithful.

pilgrim said...

Diane, you had asked for a source:

Try: The Apparitions at Medjugorje Prolonged,
by René Laurentin,
ISBN 0-9618840-0-2
pp41-43
(The premature dissolution of the commission).

Nick said...

"Dear children! With motherly love I desire to encourage you to love your neighbour. May my Son be the source of that love. He, who could have done everything by force, chose love and gave an example to you."

This is good. In fact, it is the spirituality of Saint Francis. He always emphasized love and Jesus in his words, prayers, and works.

"Also today, through me, God expresses immeasurable goodness to you and, you children, are obliged to respond to it."

This is not good. In fact, it is heresy. No Christian is obligated to respond to private revelation.

"With equal goodness and generosity behave towards the souls whom you meet. May your love convert them. In that way my Son and His love will resurrect in you. Thank you. (message given by Our Lady, July 2, 2008)"

This may not be good. If the apparition is using hyperbole, it is good. If the apparition isn't using hyperbole, it is bad. I speak of the words 'In that way my Son and His love will resurrect in you'. Jesus and His Love are not resurrected in people; there is only one Resurrection event, which we hare a share in after our own share in the Passion and Death of Jesus, because we are risen in He who is the New Adam. This is why, if the words are hyperbole, they are according to Catholic Faith, but if not hyperbole, than they are heresy.

Nonetheless, I already pointed out the heresy in the words 'Also today, through me, God expresses immeasurable goodness to you and, you children, are obliged to respond to it.'. The apparition doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between the deposit of faith and private revelation.

Tominellay said...

What strikes me as odd about the Medjugorje supporters is that they don't seem to be concerned about the truth or the untruth of the claims of the alleged seers. There seems to be an attachment to what I'll call "the idea of a Medjugorje" where devotion to Mary is acted out, and whether she is appearing there or not.

RC said...

Just to confirm the information I listed above: here's an image of the Tuscany Bishops' Newsletter containing Bishop Peric's 2006 position statement, and here's an English translation of the material, including a confirmation that Abp. Amato of CDF requested that Bishop Peric's statement be published.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Pilgrim,

Fr. Laurentin has lost considerable credibility in light of what has been pointed out by the Diocese of Mostar Duvno. With the many distortions pointed out in his materials by the diocese, and the request for apologies and correction, his material on Medjugorje is very questionable.

- Disinformations of Fr. Rene Laurentin (Don Ante Luburic, chancellor, 1997)

- Laurentin visits Bishop Peric, Catholic Information Agency, 1998)

- René Laurentin poriče,Diocese of Mostar Duvno, 2008 (google translation tools from Croatian to English will be needed for those who cannot read Croatian).

The interview referred to in the above from Petrus, can be found here at Catholic Light in English.

Last, but not least, is the incident in which Fr. Laurentin is caught altering a translation in an attempt to cover-up damaging information:

- Fr Laurentin and Doubting Thomas/
Unbelieveing Judas question
, from "Understanding Medjugorje" by Donal Anthony Foley.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

ALL:

I'm shutting down this thread because we are on the eve of a holiday in the US (Thanksgiving) and I would prefer to spend the time with family and friends.

This has gone on far enough anyway.