The Italian weekly magazine Panorama, in its March 11 issue, has a piece about the anticipated commission of inquiry on Medjugorje. There’s no official word yet, but for your interest, here’s a translation. (The original article is only accessible to subscribers, but the blog Dagospia has the text.)
N.B.: The article uses the term “shrine”, and I present it as-is, but this is not officially correct, as Church authorities have not given the title of “shrine” to the parish church of St. James or to any other place at Medjugorje.
UPDATE 3/7: The Croatian press is reporting that Bishop Perić is making a visit to Rome this week. Diane K. at Te Deum Laudamus has the information she found. [PS: Diane, have you ever considered changing that name to Te Deum Blogamus? :-)]
Miracles of Medjugorje: Ruini investigates
The Pope opens an inquiry on the apparitions
VATICAN — Benedict XVI wants a clear understanding about the apparitions of the Madonna of Medjugorje. That’s why he has decided to form a commission of inquiry, led by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, associated with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
And the next few months are predicted to be stormy for the shrine of the Queen of Peace, near Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina), which has become the #3 Marian shrine of Europe (over 1 million pilgrims a year and thousands of conversions).
In spite of the title, though, the Queen of Peace of Medjugorje has brought chaos in the Church: accused of manipulating consciences and of having an affair with a Sister, Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, former assistant pastor and, in the first years, spiritual advisor of the six young seers (now married adults) who receive the apparitions of the Madonna and speak her messages to humanity, had to leave the Franciscan habit to avoid a trial by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Nor is there peace in the conflict between the diocese of Mostar, led by Bishop Ratko Peric, and nine ex-Franciscans, expelled from the Order of Friars Minor, who have not agreed to give up their parishes. The recent visit to Medjugorje by the cardinal of Vienna, Christoph Schönborn, reignited spirits: the bishop of Mostar took a stand against the purple-clad cardinal because he had celebrated Mass and met with seers.
“Next year will be the thirtieth anniversary of the beginning of the apparitions. It is time to make clear: whether we’re dealing with the most colossal blunder in the history of man, or the most important event in the history of Christianity since the Resurrection of Christ,” observed Saverio Gaeta, journalist and author of the volume “Medjugorje. È tutto vero” (Piemme). And those want to check it out in person can plan for March 13 at the “palasport” in Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna), where a twelve-hour prayer meeting will be held, dedicated to the Madonna of Medjugorje, with Paolo Brosio and Nek taking part. The seer Mirjana will be there, and according to the program, in the course of the meeting she will receive her daily apparition of the Madonna. –Ignazio Ingrao
Some related posts:
- NEW 3/8: Bishop Perić reviews doctrinal confusions in ten Medjugorje messages
- Cdl. Saraiva’s sceptical take
- Cdl. Schönborn confirms the talk of a commission
- Theologian Fr. Manfred Hauke on criteria for discernment, and a response to critics
- Bp. Ratko Peric on: The “Great Sign”, the role of Tomislav Vlasic, the “Gospa’s birthday“