Monday, September 28, 2009

Bishop of Mostar-Duvno explains the "Phenomenon of Medjugorje"

In what appears to be a very interesting shift in the case of Medjugorje, the ordinary of the place, Bishop Ratko Peric has published a three part report that puts into context the phenomenon of Medjugorje. 

I will offer the link here, but as of today, it is still only available at the diocesan website in Italian.  Once it is available in English (and I'm assuming it will be soon), I will repost. 

In the meanwhile, I want to acknowledge the article by Catholic News Service, the publishing arm of the USCCB on this subject.  While it is a lengthy article and does cover some significant points, their coverage of the report does not do it justice, as far as I can see. 

Using online translation tools to look at the Italian version, I can tell you that the bishop says much more than what CNS is covering.  CNS is saying that the bishop is "reiterating" what he has said before.  This is true.  However, it is incomplete because he goes into great detail to help people to understand it all in context.  It sounds to me like he is objecting to how news sources are covering the phenomenon in light of recently reported events.  He uses some pretty good resources and history to back up his arguments.  Here are a few of the headings within "part 1".

  • The implication of Vlašić in the "phenomenon Medjugorje"
  • "The visionaries must not make statements without which we are informed."
  • A serious theological error [see paragraph directly below for this]
  • "The apparition" of Medjugorje praises the work of Vlasic.
  • The apparition "recommends Vlašić as spiritual master
  • Vlašić according to "divine providence" accompanies the visionaries.
  • Vlašić "channeling" the "appearances
The serious theologial error from Google translation tools is as follows in all it's imperfections:

A serious theological error. Despite a Vlašić, who was illegally in Medjugorje, and to captain a theological heresy known that he himself wrote in the Chronicle, 6 May 1982, having heard from the "visionaries": "Tonight, the young people asked a theological question and have had the Answer: If people are only present in heaven with the soul or the soul and the body? - have asked. There are the soul and the body - they were answered. "

Anyone with a basic understanding of the Catholic Catechism knows this is false.

Part II deals with "fantasies of Our Lady's birthday" and goes on to detail some stuff I hadn't even heard before.  The entire section explains the trouble the bishop has with this. 

Part III includes the bishop's June 2009 homily at Confirmations in Medjugorje.  However, it then goes on to list certain prohibitions - many of which have been in place for some time, but in some cases ignored.  We will wait for the English version for these.  Here is a summary of things thus far forbidden by the local ordinary, who is still responsible for pastoral matters concerning Medjugorje, despite what some will claim:


- NO more retreats, spiritual exercises, conferences, foreign priests… without permission of the bishop

- NO own or foreign priests may propagate NON-recognized ‘messages’ or ‘apparitions’

- EVERY priest must show his ‘celebret’ before H.Mass

- NO more H.Sacrament or adoration in ‘Oasis of Peace’; even NO permission to reside in whole diocese [not sure what that last part means]

- NO services in the private church in Bijakovice; it is now closed.

- NO mentioning of ‘seers’, apparitions, messages’ in parish bulletin;

- NO mentioning of the word ‘sanctuary’ in Medjugorje

- NO mentioning or comment of ‘messages’ or ‘apparitions’ on the 25th of the month via Marija Pavlovic

- NO private ‘apparitions’ of Mirjana Dragicevic in ‘Cenacolo’ of Sr. Elvira

- NO permission for ‘Kraljica Mira’(founder : Tomislav Vlasic) in Medjugorje or in whole diocese

- NO ‘seers’ or others in the church to pray prayers from the ‘apparitions’

- NO intentions during the rosary concerning ‘apparitions’ or ‘messages’

- NO ‘seers’ in or around the church on anniversaries of ‘apparitions’ or ‘messages
first deals with the homily of bishop Peric on June 6 2009 in Medjugorje, in which he thanks the Vatican for the support to his negative standpoint on the ‘apparitions’ in Medjugorje. Then he publishes his letter dated June 12 2009, to the present Medjugorje-parish, Fr. Petar Vlasic.

I have sent it on to a number of people at various Catholic news organizations here in the US who have resources to fully digest this.  I'm hoping to see a more complete analysis and coverage of what the bishop offers than what I am seeing thus far on CNS. 

Admittedly, the translation tool could be giving me a different take on it than what is actually there.  Hence, I will reserve further judgment on the communications at the Diocese of Mostar Duvno until I see them in English. 

Scroll down at the Dioces of Mostar-Duvno home page and you will see the words "Medjugorje" and "fenomeno" in three parts.  If you keep checking it will probably be available in English soon.

EDIT:  Fr. Z also has a post up on this.  The combox may get interesting as more comments pile in.

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