Thursday, April 8, 2010

Catholic Apologist Patrick Madrid on Medjugorje, and more...

Patrick Madrid has two posts up on Medjugorje, one of which came before Easter and leads into an article in which he was quoted at Our Sunday Visitor

In the first link below, which is the most recent, Madrid discusses the vast number of resources which attempt to give credibility to the phenomenon of Medjugorje by second and third hand accounts of what Pope John Paul II has said, or others of high stature.  There are boundaries to a Pope's infallibility, and it does not include personal opinion.  Even if these second and third-hand rumors are true, and the Pope was favorably disposed to Medjugorje, it does not give authenticity any kind of weight, as Patrick shows.

In his explanation, Patrick uses the example of the Maciel scandal - the man who founded the Legionaries of Christ.  Pope John Paul II was favorably disposed to Maciel as were many popes before him. However, what has emerged in recent years reveals that the Pope himself was duped.  This is not an indictment against Pope John Paul II, but merely proof that good people, including popes, can be duped by conmen.

Further, while Maciel himself has proven to be a fraud, the vast numbers of vocations and other good fruits, reveals how God can draw straight with crooked lines. In other words, those vocations, conversions, and transformations that came about in people through the Legionaries ultimately were not an proof of Maciel's authenticity.

Looking closer at the scandal of Maciel reveals that some were willing to turn a blind eye and even protect him.  Did loyalty to the founder trump justice for his victims or correcting a brother leading an immoral double life? Or, did people put up blinders because they didn't want to see?  When we look at the lives of Fr. Slavko Barbaric, OFM, Fr. Jozo Zovko, OFM, and the now ex-Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, we see supporters of Medjugorje still holding them up in high regard, despite all that has been revealed publicly, through Church documents (things with protocol numbers, not merely someone's opinion).

Archbishop Angelo Amato and Vlasic
Incidentally, with regards to Tomislav Vlasic, it is interesting to note that it was Archbishop Angelo Amato, who is one of the 17 known commission members [unofficial list], who stated in his letter regarding the canonical sanctions imposed by the CDF:

“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’.
Archbishop Amato was then Secretary of the CDF, and as such, is probably well familiar with Medjugorje.

Vlasic was granted a request for laicization, essentially opting to "quit" before he coudl be "fired".  The Minister General of the OFM in Rome, prohibited, "under pain of excommunication" several things including:

b) Absolute prohibition from releasing declarations on religious matters, especially regarding the "phenomenon of Medjugorje";
Hence, from an objective standpoint, given what the CDF has offered, as well as the Order of Friars Minor in Rome, one cannot distance Vlasic from the phenomenon of Medjugorje.

Links to Madrid's Recent Articles

Other recent posts on this subject:

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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!