I wouldn’t call myself a Medjugorje aficionado. I know many people who have gone to the Croatian village that has purportedly been the site of Marian apparitions since 1981, including some in my own family, and who have reported amazing experiences including miraculous events. Yet, I have never felt a desire to go nor do I find an especial attachment to the messages or other phenomena. In fact, I have been distinctly uncomfortable with some of the peripheral subjects promoted by some as parts of the apparition such as the once-banned “Poem of the Man-God” books and the obviously heterodox “Three Days Darkness” idea.
The most damaging of all has been the opposition of the local bishop to the apparitions, which some Medjugorje fans claim is just jealously on the bishop’s part against the Franciscans who run the local parish. And in response the fans claim that Pope John Paul II and other Vatican officials, including then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, have provided sotto voce unofficial support. Sorry, but unless someone can produce firsthand testimony or documentary evidence of such support, I’m not buying it.
And so we come to the text of a homily of Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar given on June 15 about the situation in Medjugorje. Peric, like his predecessor Bishop Zanic, is a firm opponent of what’s going on in Medjugorje. In fact, he speaks of a schism in his diocese, caused by disobedience Franciscans promoting the phenomena to the point that they’ve been expelled from the Order of Friars Minor. He says that Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI have always respected the judgment of the local bishops on these matters. And then he outlines the results of canonical investigations in what’s going on in Medjugorje:
The bishop speaks
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