Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cardinal Schonborn sends fax from Rome to Medjugorje bishop following audience with Pope Benedict

UPDATED - January 23: 

Posted on the Diocese of Mostar Duvno website, in English, Croatian and Italian, is this note, which lends credibility to the Petrus report that Pope Benedict had ordered Cardinal Schonborn into line on Medjugorje.

First the introduction, then the content of the note:

KIUM, 2010-01-16

The diocesan Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, Msgr. Ratko Perić, sent a personal letter on 2 January, to His Eminence Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, after his stay in Medjugorje for the New Year 2010, and on the same day a communique was released expressing his surprise regarding the Cardinal's statements and his visit to Medjugorje. Upon his return to Vienna, the Cardinal has had several interviews in various media. In an interview with Orientierung, on 10 January, he expressed his opinion „that he did not violate the right of a Bishop and of a Cardinal!“

In mid January, the Cardinal participated, as a member, at the Plenary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and on the morning of 15 January he was received in a private audience by Pope Benedict XVI. On the afternoon of the same day, the Cardinal sent a letter in German from Rome to the Bishop of Mostar by fax. The part of the letter which refers to the Cardinal's visit to Medjugorje follows:

Rome, 15 January 2010
Excellency! Dear brother in Christo,
I have received your recent letter dated 2 January. I regret if you have the impression that my pilgrimage to Medjugorje did a disservice to peace. Rest assured that this was not my intention.

The Cardinal ends his letter with the following words:

The Mother of God and her divine Son will certainly lead all things towards that which is good. In this trust, I greet you fraternally united in the Lord and remain,
+ Christoph Card. Schönborn O.P

Diocese of Mostar Duvno Homepage


Recent Statements from the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno:
New:  Medjugorje - Filial reverence, or lack thereof...

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


Dr. Herbert R. said...

Cardinal Schonborn should realize that in doing his pilgrimage to Medjugorje, that he is not a private person. He is an Archbishop and a Cardinal, he represents a segment of the Church Universal which is his own archdiocese. The issues is muddled still in Medjugorje the best thing that he should have done is to stay home in Vienna rather than add to the problems in Medjugorje.

Nick said...

I think the Cardinal was sincere. At the same time, I think the Pope is right about prudence. Let's pray for their salvation and sanctification together with the Virgin Mary and all the heavenly angels and saints, including their own guardian angels.

Timothy said...

Given that this week has been consecrated as a week of prayer for Chistian unity, I encourage all to put a moratorium on debating Medjugorje at least for this week and instead pray and do those things that unify rather than divide.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


This post is not a debate. It is factual information supplied by a

Posting information from the Diocesan bishop's website (Medjugorje) after two weeks of intense exploitation of Cardinal Schonborn's visit is hardly contributing to division. The division is already there and was amplified with Cardinal Schonborn's visit.

It would be real convenient for people to ignore this news and allow the continued exploitation of Cardinal Schonborn's visit to go on while there is a "moratorium" on debate about Medjugorje.

Perhaps websites selling videos of Cardinal Schonborn in Medjugorje could put a moratorium on their sales now that it is clear that he was reigned in by Pope Benedict.

In fact, perhaps the "seers" could put a moratorium on releasing messages, hosting pilgrimages and profit-making promoters could do the same.

Unity must subsist in truth.

Tominellay said...

Iagree with Diane!

Msgr Pope said...

Is it to be supposed that his meeting with the Pope was the reason this letter was sent? Perhaps the Pope had expressed concerns about the Cardinal's visit and asked him to reach out?

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


While Bishop Peric does not state his conclusion, the timing of the Cardinal's note is rather....ineresting. Further, why did he fax the bishop from Rome, on the same day as the audience with the Holy Father, rather than from Vienna before or after his trip to Rome?

Consider that a great injustice has fell upon the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno at the hands of a Cardinal who happens to be a member of the CDF. Such a public visit cloaked as "private" was exploited to the "nth" degree, causing "damage" in many ways.

- Videos of the visit are being marketed by the pro-Medjugorje Austrian site,, which accompanied the Cardinal on his "private" visit.

- He allowed himself to be photographed with an alleged visionary which was also exploited. (This follows his allowing Medjugorje "visionaries" to have public manifestations of "visions" in his own Cathedral this year, and previously.)

- He gave interviews in which his words lent credibility to the allege apparitions contrary to the position of the local bishop, and ahead of any such declaration of the Church.

- He caused a further degradation of filial reverence that is owed to the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno (quoting Cardinal Saraiva Martins from his interview):

"The Madonna could not, in any case at all, be anti-hierarchical and incite disobedience, even if the Bishop of Mostar were wrong. This is another element on which to reflect."

I would add that I don't think Our Lady would appreciate the many ways the local bishop's authority is being undermined, even if he were later wrong. People are indifferent to anything he has to say and he has presented some very solid arguments - doctrincally solid, that ought to be studied and reflected upon by people. Instead, he is vilified without people truly reading his objections. This too is a fruit.

A truly private pilgrimage would not have had the Cardinal at the center of attention throughout his visit. It would not have had him making interviews following the visit.

Cardinal Schonborn's actions were so far out of line on this, that it is difficult to not make connections bewteen the Cardinal's private audience and subsequent fax to Bishop Peric while he was still in Rome.

In the words of Cardinal Savaira Martins from that same interview following Cardinal Schonborn's visit:

"Far be it from me to think of judging the conduct of Cardinal Schönborn, but I, considering the morbid attention which is concentrated on Medjugorje, and as I always do every time I go out from Rome, would have spoken beforehand with Monsignor Peric: when we Cardinals enter into a Diocese, we are entering into the "house" of the Bishop of the place and we must have the good manners and good sense to announce ourselves."

It's unfortunate, Monsignor, that Cardinal Schonborn didn't reach out before he went to Medjugorje and turned matters upside down. The Cardinal has some real problems in the Vienna Archdiocese. He should be focused on getting his own "house" in order before meddling in the "house" of Bishop Peric.

Tominellay said...

Well, the outreach was immediate, faxed from Rome the day of the audience.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

Correction - being 2010 now, it was the fall of 2009 that the Medjugorje visionary was in his Cathedral having "visions". This is a big no-no for any phenomena which has not been declared worthy of belief, is it not?

pilgrim said...

pilgrim said...
As a deacon of the Church you may be interested in the response from the Church in Austria on this matter:

...and also some of the cardinal’s comments addressing the issue raised by the Mostar bishop.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


I read the article from and their "conspiracy theory" about Petrus, which is ridiculous on it's own, when it came out.

I have updated my post with not only a link to a google translation of that article, but added German site,'s analysis of the ridiculous conspiracy theory claim by

I also pointed out the fact that is a major promoter of the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje and as such, stands to lose profits from any negative publicity. So, they cook up a conspiracy theory that doesn't hold water given the facts in front of them, and pour even more salt on the wounds of the Medjugorje bishop, sowing even more contempt for His Excellency. got it's timing of the faxed letter all mixed up and accused the bishop of conspiring with Petrus to come up with the whole notion of Cardinal Schonborn being called on the carpet by Pope Benedict. Not! As Kreuz points out:

The cardinal had sent his apology on Friday afternoon. The Diocese of Mostar, Ratko Peric made it known on Saturday.

But '' already reported on Friday night by the Pope's plea for Cardinal Schönborn, when the portal was aware of the apology of the Cardinal yet.

Nevertheless, the [unnamed] Vienna source described this information as "baseless". has this to say about the criticism wrote with regards to the Bishop publishing the fax:

Finally laments '', has apparently also in agreement with the Vienna source that published the Bishop of Mostar, the "personal" letter from the Cardinal to him, "without consultation".

But in truth, it was Cardinal Schonborn, the first, and without consultation with the Bishop of Mostar in several public interviews on the Medjugorje phenomenon status and exception in the diocese of Mostar, Ratko Peric sowed discord.

Quite the irony, eh? The unnamed source - "official churchman" is not happy that Bishop Peric didn't consult with Cardinal Schonborn before publishing the fax, but it was ok for Cardinal Schonborn to enter another bishop's "house" without first contacting him (and leaving quite a wreck behind him after driving through the red light).

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

I should clarify that the post I updated was the one made last night and revised this morning:

Medjugorje: Filial reverence, or lack thereof.

RC said...

So the version of events goes:
1-- Pope meets with Cardinal Friday
2-- Cardinal sends letter Friday
3-- Bishop publishes letter Friday
4-- Bishop tips off Petrus late Friday or early Saturday [conspiracy!]
5-- Petrus reports rumor Saturday

But the real sequence was:
1-- Pope meets with Cardinal Friday
2-- Cardinal sends letter Friday
3-- Petrus reports rumor Friday
(proof: RC translates the article Friday starting at 1 p.m. ET)
4-- Bishop publishes letter Saturday

[Well, whether #2 or #3 happened first is unclear! Maybe Petrus got the rumor before the Cardinal sent the fax?]