Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Catholic Apologist Patrick Madrid to discuss Medjugorje on March 24th - Catholic Answers Live

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone (left) on Bishop Peric (right), while in Mostar on January 23,2010 for the Consecration of Archbishop Petar Rajic:

 "With sincere sentiments of gratitude, we pray to the Good Lord that this Church of Mostar, harmoniously inserted in the communion of the Churches of Bosnia-Herzegovina and in full communion with the See of Peter, may grow ever more in unity and holiness. The more it is faithful to its Catholic identity and to the apostolic tradition, of which the bishop is guarantor, the more it will grow in its own internal unity, and will know how to contribute to building up concord among the diverse religious, ethnic, and cultural elements of the complex society in which Providence has called it to live and to work in conformity with the mandate of the Gospel. "

  Some of my readers may wonder why I post on Medjugorje, which is what organizational psychology would call an "undiscussible".  In a nutshell:  I was led into scandalous contempt for the local bishop by misinformation and calumnies found on some of the leading pro-Medjugorje sites.  I did not have access to the bishop's point of view.  In mid-2005, I discovered Bishop Zanic's statement online from 1990:  The Truth About Medjugorje.  After that, I began my hunt for other diocesan documents, which I have studied closely since then.  Very quickly I saw that the contempt I had in my heart, especially given the reasonable objections of the diocese, was incompatible with what would be pleasing to Mary, (Jn 19:26-27), and to God.  Such contempt, even if it is only interior, is incompatible also, with the Gospel (Luke 10:16). 

My motivation is simple:  I want to prevent others from being led into the same kind of scandalous contempt.  It pains me deeply to know that innocent people, drawn to the pious nature of things on the surface, are then led down a path to have a disdain for the local authority because he won't approve this alleged phenomena.  The Holy See remains solidly behind him, as we have seen in a 2007 faxed letter by the Bishops of Tuscany to the priests of the diocese on Medjugorje.  In his 2009 homily, Bishop Peric stated that he was told by Cardinal William Levada that all inquiries coming into the CDF now are being handled this way. 

I just learned from the combox over at Mark Shea's blogpost on Fr. Manfred Hauke's recent interview on Medjugorje in a comment left by Patrick Coffin who hosts Catholic Answers Live that Medjugorje will be discussed on March 24th.  Patrick writes:

Markus von Sheavicus:
An fyi that may be of interest to thy com box denizens, on Catholic Answers Live (radio show, for those on planet Zorkon) I will be discussing Medjugorje on March 24, 2010, with Patrick Madrid, who has a solid handle on the story arc of Medjugorje as well as on the levels of acceptance-or-rejection of private apparitions as they apply to the phenonema there. One aspect of this story should be obvious to a) pro-Medjugorje Catholics; b) non-pro-Medjugorje Catholics; c) anti-Medjugorje Catholics; and d) anyone else who can read, is the unsettling spirit of division and rancor that attends the entire project. The M word is the new third rail. Let's at least include this biggie among the "fruits of Medjugorje."
Whether the Holy See will follow the trajectory begun Bishops Zanic and Peric (and the Zadar Declaration of 1991) and finally condemn the apparitions, or whether they will be approved in the end, many have forgotten that no Catholic is required to accept even *approved" private revelation.
So thump that gourd, roll that stone away, and tune in to www.catholic.com (you can find out if we're on in your city via the radio link) or channel 160 on Sirius Sattellite Radio. Or iTunes podcast. That's March 24. Plus, before then, many other interviews and Q&A Open Forums to delight and tantalize the discriminating radio listener.

And, the division is not just amongst the laity. While our bishops and cardinals have much more etiquette in discussing delicate topics such as "M", there is visible division even among them.  One example, is the difference of opinion of Cardinal Schonborn, author of the CCC and member of the CDF ("My seminaries would be empty without Medjugorje") and Cardinal Saraiva Martins, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, and one who was close to Sr. Lucia ("There is no comparison between Medjugorje and Fatima"). 

With regards to the statement made by Cardinal Schonborn about seminaries, I would like to raise the question: Why rely on an alleged apparition - one which, at no level of the Church, has been officially deemed worthy of belief - to fill seminaries.  Is it the alleged apparition which fills the seminaries?  Or, is it the graces which flow from authentic expressions of the faith:  Mass, Confession, Adoration, Rosary, fasting and other forms of mortification, as well as sermons which preach the fullness of the faith?  

If these things are fostered enthusiastically, and generously by Cardinal Schonborn, his fellow bishops, and priests in Austria, his seminaries will fill well, and he won't be relying on a questionable apparition to do it for him. 

EDIT:  A comment left in the combox by "LoverofLife" prompted the Editor of The Hidden Side of Medjugorje to respond with a hearty rebuttal.  That string of comments over several boxes was copied and pasted into a new post.  I will shut down this comment box and ask for discussions to flow into that post. 

See the post: Medjugorje: Louis Bélanger responds to comment...
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