Medjugorje bombshell: ex-pastor Tomislav Vlasic laicized, dismissed from Franciscan order


From the blog Medjugorje senza maschera by Marco Corvaglia:

(The translation and any errors in it are my own amateur work. Background on the censures imposed on Fr. Vlasic is described in an earlier post.)

Fr. Tomislav Vlasic reduced to the lay state
Marco Corvaglia

20090724-vlasic-marija.jpgVlašić (in profile) together with Marija, in the mid-1980s

The final word has arrived. As was reported earlier, on the 30th of May 2008, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in the person of its Secretary, Archbishop Angelo Amato, explicitly asked the bishop of Mostar, Ratko Perić (in letter no. 144/1985-27164), to make known "for the good of the faithful" the contents of a declaration by that Congregation regarding Father Tomislav Vlašić.

Let us recall a brief excerpt:

In the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon, this Dicastery is dealing with the case of the Rev. Father Tomislav Vlašić, OFM, originally from that region and the founder of the association "Kraljice Mira, potpuno tvoji - po Mariji k Isusu" [...] Confirmed reports presented to this Congregation reveal that the religious priest in question has not responded, even partially, to the ecclesiastical obedience called for in the very delicate situation he faces.

In the decree of the Congregation [see circular 939/2008, dated 8 July 2008, from the Curia of Mostar] it was written that Fr. Vlašić was suspected of "heresy and schism" and accused of "spreading questionable doctrines, manipulation of consciences, suspect mysticism, disobedience to legitimate orders and violations contra sextum (against the sixth commandment, that is). This last accusation relates to an event in 1977 (therefore prior to the "apparitions"), already reported on the page "And the Gospa said, Thanks so much to Father Tomislav; he's guiding you so well."

Today, as mentioned above, the Holy See has made a definitive pronouncement. Here is the transcription (and afterward the reproduction) of the official act, signed by the Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, Father José Rodriguez Carballo. The letter of the Minister General has already been sent to all the Provincials in Italy, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina and forwarded by them to the Guardians in each province. The Guardians have in turn sent it on to all the daughter houses in their respective provinces. However, the document has not been distributed outside the order until now:


Prot. N. 098714

To the Provincial Ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Italy

Dear Brother Minister,

The Holy Father, accepting the request of friar Tomislav Vlasic, O.F.M, member of the province of friars minor of St. Bernardino of Siena (L'Aquila), responsible for conduct harmful to ecclesial communion both in the spheres of doctrine and discipline, and under a censure of interdict, has granted him the favor of reduction to the lay state (amissio status clericalis) and of dismissal from the Order.

In addition, the Holy Father has granted the petitioner, motu proprio, the remission of the censure incurred as well as the favor of dispensation from religious vows and from all the responsibilities connected with sacred ordination, including celibacy.

As a salutary penal precept - under the pain of excommunication which the Holy See would declare, and if necessary, without prior canonical warning - the following precepts are imposed on Mr. Tomislav Vlasic:

a) Absolute prohibition from exercising any form of apostolate (for example, promoting public or private devotion, teaching Christian doctrine, spiritual direction, participation in lay associations, etc.) as well as of acquiring and administering goods intended for pious purposes;
b) Absolute prohibition from releasing declarations on religious matters, especially regarding the "phenomenon of Medjugorje";
c) Absolute prohibition from residing in houses of the Order of Friars Minor.

For the execution of the serious measures imposed by the Holy See regarding Mr. Tomislav Vlasic, the same Apostolic See calls directly on the Superiors of the Order.

Therefore I turn to you, so that you make sure to instruct the Guardians and superiors of friaries about full compliance, by Tomislav Vlasic, with the pontifical measures regarding him, in particular relative to the prohibition of residing in any houses belonging to the Order of Friars Minor, under pain of removal from office.

Trusting in your full understanding and prompt cooperation, I greet you fraternally.
Rome, 10 March 2009.

Fr. José Rodriguez Carballo, Ofm
Minister General"


[Update: (7/27) I have improved the English version slightly; any errors in the translation remain my responsibility. Thanks to Marco Corvaglia for his kind assistance. --RC]

[Update 2: Catholic News Agency has a report now.]


Reading between the lines, it appears that you are almost taking delight in this action. Why would that be? And to entitle it "Bombshell"? Sounds like a tabloid headline. What's missing is your sense of compassion and love. In fact the one common thread of anti-Medjugorje writers like yourself is a lack of humility and caring for others. Instead, there is pride and an "I'm better than you attitude" But that is why those who believe like you are in the minority. Do you relish in another's sufferings? Vlasic has not been associated with Medjugorje for a long, long time and obviously has not followed Our Lady of Medjugorje's messages himself or he would be a model priest. If you would just do some research, you would find that those priests and bishops who do embrace Medjugorje are some of the most devout and saintly men in the Church.

It is clear now that if the supposed "Gospa" of Medjugorje said Tomislav Vlasic was guiding the supposed "seers" well (before or after the "apparitions"), that "Gospa" is not the Blessed Virgin Mary. I prefer to accept the statement approved by the Holy Father rather than that of the "Gospa".

Well said RC in response to the accusation of 'lack of compassion'. It would be a salutary exercise if the former Fr Vlasic were to give us more of the truth surrounding the whole sorry 'Medjugorje phenomenon'. But perhaps that is asking too much at this stage.

Father Vlasic only arrived in Medjugorje in September 1981 BUT the visions had started in June. He did not know any of the seers. He was NOT the 'creator' of the phenomenon. So there is no bombshell.

When debating this issue can we all agree on one fact - that is that the Vatican's decision to defrock Tomislav is not a denouncement of Medjugorje. We are not being asked to believe either the Gospa or Benedict 16th.

The teaching of Medjugorje is simple. The latest message states

'Dear Children, May this time be a time of prayer for you. Thank you for responding to my call.'

This is the essence of all the messages. Our Lady of Medjugorje asks us to pray and fast. What could be a better teaching for family life?

What truly is amazing about Medjugorje is that so many people are hostile without (it seems)really knowing why. By all means be sceptical and considered, but don't be hostile.

Can I also say that it is rather disappointing to read the editor of a website called 'Catholic Truth' calling Medjugore believers fanatics.

I would perhaps questions the editor's infallibility on a subject the Pope doesn't feel inclined to pass judgement on.

Perhaps you should rename the website.

If all the money time and effort to promote the apparitions of Medjugorje went into living the Message of Fatima approved by the Church the triumph of Mary may have taken place long ago.
Disobedience to legitimate church authorities puts one in danger of cooperating in sin. The Bishop of the diocese in which the apparition takes place have the grace by God to discern the truth of an alleged apparition. Not even a Bishop of another diocese can go against the bishop of the diocese in which the apparitions take place. How many bishops have failed here to counsel the people to obey and wait. If it is from God he will change the Bishops mind. Linda Rose

I felt a deep sadness and poignancy in Our Ladys' message of July 25th '09, it was the shortest message ever. I am reading the comments and the above article and I am reminded of two opposing factions. Firstly, the Pharisees dragging Mary Magdalene before Jesus demanding a moral judgement. Secondly, the political bureaucrats like Pontius Pilate washing their hands of Jesus and distancing himself from the truth. We are Christians not judges or politicians. There is only one person winning here Satan. so let us all be obedient to the call of Our Mother of Fr. Tomislavs' Mother, of our Churches Mother and pray.
St. Paul to Corinithians said you are behaving like humans still quarrelling. Holy Spirit please guide us in the ways of Your Holy Will and in All truth. Bless Fr. Tomislav in the Name of Jesus, Lord of ALL.

If all the monies time and efforts to promote the Apparitions of Medjugorje went into living the Message of Fatima approved by the Church the triumph of Mary may have taken place long ago.
Disobedience to legitimate church authorities puts one in danger of cooperating in sin. The Bishop of the diocese in which the apparition takes place have the grace by God to discern the truth of an alleged apparition. Not even a Bishop of another diocese can go against the bishop of the diocese in which the apparitions take place. How many bishops have failed here to counsel the people to obey and wait. If it is from God he will change the Bishops mind. Linda Rose

Sorry guys. I got here from a link from a website called Catholic Truth. I hadn't realised i was on a different website.

I was sad about this month's message too. I think it has already helped me pray this month though and hopefully will keep doing so whilst the medj youth festival is going on.

Dear Linda Rose, I've never understood the particular friction between medjugorje and Fatima. I know a little bit about Fatima but have never been there. Is it because you feel their messages conflict in some way? (i really am interested, i'm not trying to start an argument. I really hope i get to Fatima one day)

This article I found gives all the facts and states the truth about what really happened and what is means for Medjugorje:

I just finished reading the article from Matt Silva's post. Well done. Very well done. The article is comprehensive and well balanced.

It also sheds light on the subject of where we get our "news" from and what sources we use to form our opinions. It's a great read whether or not you believe in Medjugorje.

God bless,


Porque não se pune os sacerdotes pedófilos? e sim os sacerdotes que incentivam a devoção do povo!? que incoerencia!!!
Medjugorje triunfará, á exemplo de Lourdes e Fátima.

Medjugorje devotees are busy going around in a never ending circle of words using
circular logic to defend their errors What is wrong with FATIMA people? Fatima is approved by the church! Your wasting precious time and failing to evangelize the greatest Marian apparition that has ever taken place along with the greatest public miracle
of all time. Pope John Paul II said that Fatima is a reaffirmation of the Gospel.
Fatima is about Consecration to Mary who is leading us towards the greatest conflagration of Good over Evil. A battle that is yet to come. The annihilation
of some or many nations is a prophecy that may still be fulfilled if we do not
do as our Lady asks. Fatima is about the UNITY of the Church. How sad that
we are not united in the majesterium as children of Mary. Fatima is about
conversions not just Russia but the Jewish people and the Muslims. The falling
of the Berlin Wall was a sign of what our Lady will do in the next battles that are
soon facing the Church. It appears that Medjugorje devotees are so busy defending
their own errors they do not even see the beginnings of this battle being raged around
us and are already the first casualties in the spiritual war. I repeat again obedience
to the majesterium of the church or you will not survive this war. Linda Rose,OCDS

I have visited Medjugorje and, as a non-believer, what struck me more than anything was the sheer tackyness of the place. Beyond kitsch. The streets, cluttered with trashy souvenirs such as two-foot plaster BVMs, stank of exploitation; exploitation of the gullible and the vulnerable. Repeatedly I asked traders, tour guides etc if they believed Mary had ever visited the place, or even existed at all. They just grinned, shrugged, and waved bundles of KMs and euros. The seers, born into what many in the west would regard as abject poverty, now wallow in wealth beyond the dreams of avarice, and the guy who pulled their strings - completely without fault according to the "Gospa" - is at last, belatedly, exposed for his complete lack of moral compass. And yet still there are so-called catholics willing to defy clerical authority to continue the racket. With friends like that, Christianity doesn't need enemies.

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This page contains a single entry by Richard Chonak published on July 24, 2009 6:55 PM.

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