Medjugorje Apparition Claims Are Divisive, Bishop Warns

June 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Patrick's Blog

Jul. 4, 2006 (CWNews.com) -

The Catholic bishop whose diocese includes the town of Medjugorje has warned that “something similar to a schism” has arisen at the parish church where apparitions of the Virgin Mary are alleged to take place.

In a homily delivered in Medjugorje on the feast of Corpus Christi, Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, said that both he and his predecessor have expressed severe misgivings about the reported apparitions. He added that both Pope John Paul II (bionews) and Pope Benedict XVI (bio -news) backed the judgments of the local bishops.

In his homily Bishop Peric explained that– “while recognizing the Holy Father’s right to give a final decision” on the validity of the reported apparitions– he doubted their validity. He recalled that when he discussed the reports from Medjugorje with Vatican officials, including then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, they shared his incredulity.

“They particularly do not seem to be authentic,” the bishop observed, “when it is known before that these so-called ‘apparitions’ will occur.” Bishop Peric cited the schedule that the Medjugorje seers have provided, listing the times and places at which they claim the next visits by the Mother of God will occur. Thousands of messages from Mary are now claimed, and the bishop observed that “the flood of so-called apparitions, messages, secrets, and signs do not strengthen the faith, but rather further convince us that in all of this there is nothing neither authentic nor established as truthful.”

The first reported appearances of the Virgin at Medjugorje occurred just over 25 years ago. During the 1980s, thousands of Catholic flocked to the little town, with many reporting profound spiritual experiences. These pilgrimages were eventually slowed by the violent bloodshed that tore through the region in the 1990s and by the increasingly public skepticism of the hierarchy.

Bishop Peric reminded his people of the restrictions that he has imposed on activities in Medjugorje. The parish church is not formally a “shrine,” he said, and should not be characterized as such. Pilgrimages to the church are discouraged. Priests there are “not authorized to express their private views contrary to the official position of the Church on the so-called ‘apparitions’ and ‘messages,’ during celebrations of the sacraments, nor during other common acts of piety, nor in the Catholic media.”

The bishops urged the “seers” of Medjugorje to “demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish.”

Some of the Franciscan priests assigned to the Medjugorje parish, he said, have been expelled from their order because of their refusal to accept Church authority. “They have not only been illegally active in these parishes, but they have also administered the sacraments profanely, while others invalidly,” he said. As Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, he said, he felt obliged to warn the faithful “who invalidly confess their sins to these priests and participate in sacrilegious liturgies.” (source)

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5 Responses to “Medjugorje Apparition Claims Are Divisive, Bishop Warns”
  1. Davide says:

    Another quote from the article above;

    "'They particularly do not seem to be authentic,' the bishop observed, 'when it is known before that these so-called 'apparitions' will occur.'

    Can you not see through this Patrick? There have been many approved apparitions in which Our Lady told the seer(s) when She will appear, on schedule. Again, according to the CDC norms for judging alleged apparitions, knowing when the apparitions will occur is not a factor for determining authenticity.

  2. Davide says:

    Dear Patrick,
    I mean no disrespect to Bishop Peric, but he has had an axe to grind against Medjugorje since 1984. I would not necessarily believe anything he says at face value, but instead look at the facts. In the article he says that Pope John Paul II was against Medjugorje, and yet JPII has said many times both verbally and *in his own pen* that he daily makes pilgrimages to Medjugorje in spirit. Even the CDC stated in 1998 that bishop Peric's personal opinion against Medjugorje "is and will remain his personal opinion". The Church is clearly distancing herself from this bishop.

    Here is another example of the faulty logic (quoted from the article);

    "the flood of so-called apparitions, messages, secrets, and signs do not strengthen the faith, but rather further convince us that in all of this there is nothing neither authentic nor established as truthful."

    No where in the Church's norms for judging alleged apparitions is the length of apparitions a consideration. Many visionaries have had visions over many decades, and they became canonized saints.

    In your previous article, you reference the bishops chronology of events on his diocese website. But if you read this chronology carefully, you will again see that he lists nothing that the Church actually considers in judging apparitions.

    He hammers the local priests and parish for their disobedience, but again, these are peripheral to the visionaries themselves. The real question is whether the visionaries themselves have been obedient, and indeed they have (for example, when they were told by the bishop to not continue receiving visions in the church, they never received a vision in the church again). Even Our Lady herself counseled the children on various occasions to obey. Obedience is part of the message of Medjugorje.

    The CDC has clearly ruled on this matter for the time being, and allows pilgrimages to continue while it is still not confirmed supernatural. I would ask you Patrick to please re-evaluate your position on this, as posting these muddled articles simply adds to the confusion.

    If Mother Teresa prayed to Our Lady of Medjugorje (also documented by many eye witnesses, including Dr. Mark Miravalle), and Pope John Paul II favored Medjugorje, and Fr. Gabrielle Amorth stated that Medjugorje is a "spiritual fortress against satan", then we might want to pay closer attention to what we post on the matter, especially considering how many people respect you and value your opinion.

    .

  3. PRAISE GOD says:

    you need to read in-depth histories of Lourdes and you will find the same things happened, the bishop disapproved Bernadette from ging to the holy site and she went anyway. The bishop did not believe till he had a miracle. So, please read up and besides, the Jews that believed in Jesus were also told by their high priests not to have anything to do with Jesus, but Nicodemis and others did anyway. Pray your rosary daily and Our Lady will help your unbelief.

  4. EddieL says:

    Why has no one asked the following question:
    One of the seers claims to have seen and conversed with her dead mother but according to the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in Scripture this is impossible.

  5. iaudugo says:

    The disobedience and the discord/confusion of the whole thing convinced me that these "apparitions" may not be of God. Obedience to the Church is a non-negotiable and disobedience is a rather obvious red-flag. It reminds me of the episode in St. Faustina's diary when she was in conversation with Jesus but she had to do something for her superior. Christ was so pleased that she would end her audience with Him in order to obey those in authority in His Church.

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