Sunday, July 23, 2006

Medjugorje: Preliminary Translation of Croatian Article on New Commission

Well, after some picking and choosing from miscellaneous translations found, and doing some of my own translating to finesse it, I provide you with the following article now in English. I am open to corrections, if you would be so kind to put them into the comment box below, or email them to me.

One translation I found seemed somewhat embellished, but it's possible it those were translated from Dutch or German.

Here is what I have in English now:

15.07.2006 18:15


Holy See takes Medjugorje Phenomenon into its own hands
Author: Žarko IVKOVIĆ

The Catholic Church is establishing new commission which will review Medjugorje events. This given by Cardinal Vinko Puljic, president of the Bosnia and Hercegovina Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Sarajevo, to reporters at the end of the Bishops conference held July12-14, 2006 in Banja Luka. This announcement surprised many, because Medjugorje was not even one of the topics discussed at the meeting. Aside from that, it is well known that the Church will not take a definite position about the Medjugorje phenomenon while it is still going on, and even more well known is the position of the bishop of Mostar, who time and again has claimed that there are no apparitions of the Mother of God in his diocese.

Why, nevertheless, establish a new commission which would review the stand declared in 1991 by the bishops by which “it cannot be determined that anything supernatural is happening there”? From our information, the request for the establishment of a new commission comes from the Vatican, which can manifestly no longer close its eyes to what is happening in Medjugorje

Here is the original Croatian:

15.07.2006 18:15

Sveta Stolica preuzima međugorski fenomen u svoje ruke
Autor Žarko IVKOVIĆ

Katolička crkva osniva novu komisiju koja će ispitati međugorska zbivanja. Dao je to naslutiti kardinal Vinko Puljić, predsjednik Biskupske konferencije BiH, obraćajući se novinarima nakon završetka zasjedanja BKBiH održanog od 12. do 14. srpnja u Banjoj Luci. Izazvao je time i veliko iznenađenje jer Međugorja na dnevnom redu nije bilo. Osim toga, dobro je poznat stav Crkve da se o međugorskom fenomenu neće izjašnjavati dok on traje, a još je poznatiji stav mostarskoga biskupa, koji decidirano tvrdi da u njegovoj biskupiji nema nikakvih ukazanja Majke Božje.

Zašto se unatoč tomu osniva nova komisija koja bi trebala preispitati stav biskupa izrečen 1991., prema kojemu se "ne može ustvrditi da je riječ o nadnaravnim ukazanjima"? Prema našim informacijama, zahtjev za osnivanje komisije dolazi iz Vatikana, koji očito više ne može zatvarati oči pred onim što se događa u Međugorju.

All of this having been said, we are still looking for confirmation out of the Vatican, or out of the office of Bishop Peric in Mostar, or Vinko Cardinal Puljic -the head of the BiH Bishop's Conference. EDIT: Confirmation here

If this is truly happening, then I would raise some questions:

  1. If the Vatican was assuming such a commission would maintain status quo, then would they have wanted such a commission?

  2. Assuming the answer to number 1 is "no", then what other decisions could be handed down?

    The current position of the Church, handed down in the 1991 Zadar Declaration is:

    non constat de supernaturalitate (it is not established supernatural)

    I see two possibilities coming out of such a commission:

    1) constat de supernaturalitate (it is established supernatural)
    2) constat de non supernaturalitate (it is established not supernatural)

    This leads me to another question:

    Since the "visions" are ongoing, why set up a commission to "affirm" what is happening in Medjugorje?

    On the other hand, if Holy Mother Church sees some harm taking place - perhaps none-to-visible to the ordinary persons who frequent there, then She may feel inclined to act. There is, for example, a situation with the local Franciscans that was 400 years in the making, with many being expelled from the order since not long after these "apparitions" began. In one case, well documented, the "gospa" supported a priest who was in the process of being suspended "a divinis". He was later removed from the order, and now lives with his ex-nun wife and children somewhere around Medjugorje.

    The point is not the immorality of one priest and nun - clearly something between them and their confessors. Rather, it is the fact that the "Blessed Mother" in Medjugorje supported him, saying he was innocent, and that the Bishop was to blame (Bishop Zanic, the former bishop of Mostar speaks of it in point 2 in this document). Bishop Zanic goes on to point out back then, that this same priest who was defended by the "gospa" continued on with his priestly affairs with regards to the Sacraments, in defiance of his suspension. From a theological standpoint, it is unfathomable to think that the Blessed Mother would not know of the priest's immoral acts, and of his suspension, or impending suspension, when she allegedly defended him.

    Furthermore, in a 2001 homily, Bishop Peric states that out of 120 Franciscan priests, 40 refused to sign a statement reiterating their obedience to the local Ordinary. This was authorized by their Father General in Rome. While it is wonderful that 80 priests did the right thing, 40 is a significant number to be in defiance. (All of this can be read in the Michael Davies book with link below - page 167, and can be verified throug the Chancery of Mostar).

    Some would ask, "How can there be anything bad about conversions, high vocations, confessions, emphases on the Eucharistic and Marian devotion, fasting, penance, processions, etc.?"

    My answer is simple: There is nothing bad about these things. They are very good. In fact, we probably owe the rebirth of these things to Medjugorje. But, is it possibly just a solid example of how God can use just about anything to His advantage? The sacraments alone, and Marian devotion have proven to yield conversion and vocations.

    However, if the CDF believes Medjugorje to be inauthentic, then the ends can never justify the means. In other words, we cannot allow such a thing to continue just because of the good fruits it yields. As someone else recently pointed out, and I will paraphrase: A couple engaged in pre-marital sex can concieve a child. The child is a good fruit, coming from an immoral act. Because the child is a good fruit, it does not justify the pre-marital sex. (Whoever stated this may feel free to acknowledge this fact in my comment box, but you will have to forgive me for forgetting which blog I read it in).

    Setting this aside, there are indeed bad fruits coming from Medjugorje, for those willing to take a hard look. The French Bishops pointed these things out back in 2000. There are many other resources including the new book by Donal Anthony Foley called, "Understanding Medjugorje" (see my sidebar book section). Then there is the book by Michael Davies, "Medjugorje - After Twenty One Years" which is available online in its entirety (217 pages downloadable), along with two statements by Bishop Peric.

    Medjugorje has yielded many good things and if the Vatican were to definitively rule against it, we should not take this as an attack against Marian devotion. To the contrary, Marian devotion stands independent of Medjugorje, as does Eucharistic devotion. If Medjugorje has taught the Church anything, it is that people want to immerse themselves into a Catholic culture richly devout in such ways. They are, indeed, hard to come by, but I'm convinced after seeing so many devout young priests coming out of seminaries, this is changing. We must be patient and practice devotion regardless of whether the parish fosters it or not.

    Some say that those who don't believe in Medjugorje are anti-Marian or liberal, yet the vast majority of people I know who cannot believe in it, are very Marian, and very orthodox in their Catholicism. This means that those who support Medjugorje, and those who denounce it, have much in common......except for the notion that Mary is appearing to those particular "seers" associated with Medjugorje.

    If this commission is truly happening, we need to pray that those chosen will be guided by the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Mother, and the holy Angels, to follow through with the will of God in all things pertaining to Medjugorje. And, may they assist us in humbly accepting that outcome, whether it follows a position we take, or not.

    Related Posts:

    June 15, 2006 Homily of Bishop Peric in Medjugorje (full uncut text)

    What leads people to Medjugorje?

    Cardinal Puljic at 2001 Synod: Unity of Church is threatened by disobedience of local Franciscans

    International Coverage of the Croatian Article:

    CNS - Catholic News Service (US)

    Analysis of CNS Article by Apologist Jimmy Akin

    Article in CathNews (Australia)

    Original Croatian Article

    German Article from Kath.Net

    German Article from Kruez.Net

    Dutch Article

    Other Resources:

    2000 Analysis and Statement from French Bishops

    1978 Criteria for Discernment of Apparitions

    Websites to watch

    Diocese of Mostar-Duvno (Bishop Ratko Peric)

    Diocese of Banja Luka (Bishop Franjo Komarica)

    Diocese of Vrhbosna or Sarajevo (Vinko Cardinal Puljic)

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