Vatican Radio: Schönborn apologizes


The German-language service of Vatican Radio has an article on Cardinal Schönborn's private audience with the Holy Father last Friday, and the letter he faxed to Bishop Perić the same day.

My translation:

Schönborn: Apology for Uproar about Medjugorje Visit


After his controversial pilgrimage to Medjugorje Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has apologized to the local bishop of the place, Ratko Perić. In a letter published in excerpts on the official home page of the Mostar diocese, the Vienna cardinal emphasizes that he had no intention of "harming peace." Schönborn had visited the village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the end of the old year and argued for "an integration of the Medjugorje phenomenon into normal pastoral practice". He had declared his visit to the ecclesiastically unrecognized site of Marian pilgrimages a private trip. However, he provided for considerable visibility to it in media publicity. The letter of apology is dated January 15, the day on which Schönborn was in Rome for a private audience with Pope Benedict. With his letter, Schönborn answered a letter from Perić, who had sharply criticized the visit of the cardinal to Medjugorje and emphasized that the visit implied no recognition of the "apparitions". Furthermore he recalled that the so-called seers of Medjugorje had repeatedly manipulated the alleged Marian apparitions. With Schönborn's letter the discussions are now considered closed, said a spokesman for the Mostar-Duvno diocese this Tuesday. -- Since 1981, Marian apparitions are said to be taking place in Medjugorje. They are not recognized either by the local diocese or by the Vatican.


"I regret if you have the impression that my pilgrimage to Medjugorje did a disservice to peace. Rest assured that this was not my intention."

and on the basis of the above words, countless messages go round the internet stating that Cardinal Schonborn has apologised to Bishop Peric!

The Cardinal is sorry that the Bishop got a wrong impression of his visit to Medjugorje and the internet world portrays this as the Cardinal regretting some of his actions or even his visit! This type of thing is what must make Jesus and Mary cry.

The Cardinal regrets that the Bishop has misunderstood his actions!! End of story. There is absolutely no apology here to the Bishop and those who suggest otherwise are living in a world of make-believe.

Boy, what a passive-aggressive non-apology. Sad.

"This type of thing must make Jesus and Mary cry."

Can someone please explain to me how a Glorified Jesus Christ (who is God and in Heaven) and Mary (who is in Heaven) can cry? I don't understand this. I know Jesus and Mary wept during their lives on Earth, but I don't see how they would do that in Heaven. We should be the ones crying - not them. According to "apparitions" Jesus and Mary are apparently constantly in agony, angry and crying. Yes, Jesus was in agony at the Passion, and we return to that moment at every Mass, but to suggest that the Glorified God who knows everything past, present and future to be crying over something we do now seems ridiculous. And for someone to even suggest to know the mind of God is preposterous. This disturbs me greatly because you're suggesting and presenting an "image" of God according to your own human opinion. That can be considered an offense against God and a breaking of the first commandment (no worshiping false images). I would take great care to be sure which God it is that you are worshiping. (I've been set straight on this before, myself)

Of course, when you feel you have a direct line to God through visionaries and a Mother of God whose appearance is at the whim of whichever visionary and thanks people for listening to her then I guess you might get the picture that you somehow know the mind of God.

I'm tired of this emotional wreck of a "Lady." I'm tired of this "wimpy" Christ. Give me the all-knowing, all-powerful and all-merciful God and his humble, strong, even-keeled mother that I've been told about through Scripture and Tradition. Are you suggesting that Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross and Mary stood there in agony watching him so that they could then go on and be taken on an emotional roller coaster through history? But then again, everything associated with Medjugorje seems all based on emotions - something our faith should not be based upon. If I hear another person say "you just have to go there and you'll believe..."


David, obviously something caused the cardinal to write something down and fax it to the Bishop of Mostar. The cardinal saw the need to take a step backward. Whether or not he regrets anything at all, this cardinal was forced to communicate with Bishop Peric in writing, and in something of a conciliatory manner. He backed down.

"Can someone please explain to me how a Glorified Jesus Christ (who is God and in Heaven) and Mary (who is in Heaven) can cry? I don't understand this"
Look in the mirror, we are all sinners, the reason for their tears...look thru the window, tell me what do you see, a beautiful planet, peace and harmony?...not, the reason for their tears, does this not make sense, what is your confusion based upon, men have emotions and compassion, Jesus was a man, Woman has even more, Mary was the Woman from Genesis 3:15

In June of next year it will be 30 years since the Medjugorje fable began. How much more time will it be before the Vatican demands that Bishop Peric be honored by full acceptance of his and others' statements that there is no evidence of positive supernatural activities taking place at Medjugorje. The Cardinal Schonbron "apology" will be given far less attention than the fact that the Cardinal went to the site as a "pilgrim".

"How much more time will it be before the Vatican demands that Bishop Peric be honored by full acceptance of his and others' statements that there is no evidence of positive supernatural activities taking place at Medjugorje."

That's for you to answer Laurette. Why does the Vatican leave pilgrims free to visit Medjugorje after all this time? The answer of course is that the Vatican does not hold your views or those of Richard and other anti-Medjugorje people. And I think it likely that this will remain the position until events ultimately prove Medjugorje authentic to everyone, yes even you, Laurette, and Richard.

The Vatican "allowed" it because the local ordinary, the Bishop of Mostar had not *dis*allowed it entirely. This falls under the principle of subsidiarity, where the bishop is the "ordinary" person to make those decisions. The Pope is not a general or CEO. Many times throughout history, the Pope has stepped in on a theological controversy, but only on last appeal. Notice that Lourdes was not "approved" by the Pope. Pope St. Pius X He let the judgment of the local bishop stand, and only "stepped in," because he wanted a universal celebration. In Akita, the local bishop asked for help, and this was given.

What this mean is that the Bishop does not think anything is going on, but was willing to allow pilgrims to come unofficially, i.e., under no Church approval, or any kind of implicit affirmation of a supernatural event. The Pope is fine with the Bishop of Mostar's judgment.

Notice this page:

The Church has for the most part just shrugged on visions or dismissed them when forced, and Rome is not in the habit of stepping in.

Adding to the discussion on pilgrimages, Msgr Henri Brincard capture the thing perfectly when he wrote:

Let us recognise that it is not easy to apply faithfully this recommendation. How, in fact, to organise a private pilgrimage without it being motivated by the conviction that the events of Medjugorje are of a supernatural origin? Since this conviction is at the origin of the pilgrimage, does not this latter not become de facto "an authentication of events in course which still necessitate an examination by the Church"?

It is just this difficulty which Cardinal Kuharic and Bishop Zanic foresaw in their joint declaration of 9th January 1987.(7)

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