[UPDATE (1/5): Bishop Peric has issued an English version of his statement on his diocesan website.]
Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar has issued a letter of public criticism of Christoph Cardinal Schöborn, O.P., the Archbishop of Vienna, for his public statements endorsing the claims of apparitions in Medjugorje.
The Cardinal’s latest interference in the case is a so-called “private” visit he made over New Year’s. It was so private that it was announced in advance by bloggers, confirmed by the Cardinal’s spokesman, and followed by the media when he arrived. It included public celebrations of Mass, a visit to the alleged apparition site in the company of a “seer”, and an address in Italian to visitors. However, there was no notice to the local bishop, and not even a courtesy visit.
Bishop Peric has delivered a statement that I find refreshingly frank. I can’t remember anything comparable from a bishop, really. Here are some quotes (my translation from the Italian version on Bp. Peric’s diocesan site):
- “I am surprised because no one from Cardinal Schonborn’s office has contacted me, even up to the publication of this statement,”
- “I suppose that the Cardinal knows the position of the Church, based on the findings of the commission and its conclusion that no one can say that these are “supernatural apparitions or private revelations.”
- “His visit … [to religious orders operating in the diocese without permission] can be read as an encouragement for their ecclesiastical disobedience.”
- “the Cardinal, with his visit, appearance, and statements, is adding to the present suffering of the local Church”
Diane Korzeniewski has posted an English version on her blog.