Medjugorje - Media Lies Revealed
Bishop Zanic got an official warning from his superiors for coming to rash conclusions that affect people's perceptions of Medjugorje. He tried to pass his own opinion off as the official Vatican opinion. The faithful got confused and clarification was requested from the Holy See. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded with the following letter to Bishop Gilbert Aubry of Saint Denis clarifying its position on Medjugorje. He received it on June 24th. On the 25th, he spread it to the priests and communities of his diocese (circular # C003) so that they can have the latest statement from Rome and, if necessary, inform the faithful with full knowledge of the facts.
CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI Pr. No 154/81-06419Citta del Vaticano, Palazzo del S. UffizioMay 26, 1998To His Excellency Mons. Gilbert Aubry,Bishop of Saint-Denis de la Reunion
Excellency:In your letter of January 1, 1998, you submitted to this Dicastery several questions about the position of the Holy See .... Since the division of Yugoslavia into different independent nations it would now pertain to the members of the Episcopal Conference of Bosnia-Hercegovina to eventually reopen the examination of this case, and to make any new pronouncements that might be called for.
What Bishop Peric said in his letter to the Secretary General of "Famille Chretienne", declaring: "My conviction and my position is not only 'non constat de supernaturalitate' (Ed: Not proven that something supernatural is happening) but likewise, 'constat de non supernaturalitate' (Ed: Proven that there is nothing supernatural happening) of the apparitions or revelations in Medjugorje", should be considered the expression of the personal conviction of the Bishop of Mostar which he has the right to express as Ordinary of the place, but which is and remains his personal opinion.
Finally, as regards pilgrimages to Medjugorje, which are conducted privately, this Congregation points out that they are permitted on condition that they are not regarded as an authentification of events still taking place and which still call for an examination by the Church.
I hope that I have replied satisfactorily at least to the principal questions that you have presented to this Dicastery and I beg Your Excellency to accept the expression of my devoted sentiments.
Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone (Secretary to the "Congregatio", presided over by Cardinal Ratzinger)
Fr. Daniel-Ange (France) summarizes this way:
- The declarations of the Bishop of Mostar only reflect his personal opinion. Consequently, they are not an official and definitive judgement from the Church.
- One is directed to the declaration of Zadar, which leaves the door open to future investigations.
- In the meanwhile private pilgrimages with pastoral accompaniment for the faithful are permitted.
- A new commission could eventually be named. (Ed: this new commission has begun)
- In the meanwhile, all Catholics may go as pilgrims to Medjugorje
by Denis Nolan:
A vicious attack against Fr. Jozo Zovko, OFM., and Medjugorje has been launched in the main traditionalist publication in the US, The Wanderer, (November 14, 2002). Many of these false allegations have been refuted long ago and this is just one more example of how the enemies of Medjugorje rely upon disinformation in order to destroy Medjugorje and her Franciscan priests. Highly volatile "flash words" are used so as to indirectly associate Medjugorje with recent scandals in the USA involving clergy, though no facts are given to back up these allegations. Guilt by association, innuendo and slander serve their intended purpose. The Wanderer should be held accountable for such libelous journalism.
You'd think this time the news editor for The Wanderer would have at least gotten the date right: "the alleged apparitions began in 1979," in light of the fact that several paragraphs later Paul Likoudis quotes: "the apparitions of the blessed Virgin Mary first started in 1981," (p.1).
In point of fact Likoudis established lack of credibility four years ago with his article, "Film Probes Underside of MEDJUGORJE INDUSTRY," (The Wanderer, March 26, 1998). Now, four years later, the director and producer of that film, the cameraman, the journalists - all of whom Likoudis referred to and quoted throughout his article - testify publicly that everything he reported was false. It was all part of a deliberate campaign to destroy Medjugorje! And Likoudis has the audacity continuing this campaign in the November 14, 2002 The Wanderer! This is criminal. He and the Wanderer should be held accountable!
There never were any death threats made by the Franciscans of Medjugorje against Jones and others There never was a pedophile ring of Franciscans in Medjugorje!
The story that was kept alive for two years in the Muslim newsdaily, "The Feril Tribune," - that all money given by pilgrims to the Franciscans in Medjugorje during the war, for refugee aid,was instead used by them for ethnic cleansing of Muslims - was entirely false!
At the time the acting Provincial for the Hercegovina Province, Fr. Tomislav Pervan, OFM., felt it necessary to answer some of these accusations in an article titled "Campaign Against Medjugorje" in the Croatian weekly "Nedjeljna Dalmacija (April 17, 1998). Likoudis and The Wanderer should be apologizing and printing a retraction instead of continuing their shameless campaign.
I can just imagine the scenario surrounding Fr. Jozo's speaking engagement at the Basilica of Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.... The same thing happened several years ago when he was invited to speak at the National Conference of Medjugorje at the University of Notre Dame. Mybishop's fax machine was flooded with faxes from the same number (is it a coincidence that one paragraph from Likoudis' article is exactly the same - word for word - as a paragraph in the fax my bishop received)? The attempt failed. Bishop John M. D'Arcy saw right through what was happening.
Commenting on the recent The Wanderer article, the Franciscan Provincial in Mostar, Fr. Slavko Soldo, OFM., Fr. Jozo's superior, told me: "It's not true that Fr. Jozo was suspended by his Franciscan general. He is not suspended! He is a priest in good standing with his community!" (Note that the November 14th letter from the Provincial and a November 21st letter of clarification from the Franciscan Vicar General in Rome are posted at www.childrenofmedjugorje.com.) He continued: "And regarding the charges against him, it's interesting that not one of those women has ever sent any of those letters to me. And I'm the first person who should know. Fr. Jozo is responsible to me as far as discipline goes. I find it interesting that neither has the
bishop ever sent me a copy of any of those supposed letters. Let me repeat: never have such charges - or anything like them - ever been brought to my attention - and there are none in my office files preceeding my time as Provincial! Of course now they can be invented and sent to me afterwards."
Fr. Soldo has good reason to be frustrated. Charges of sexual misconduct brought against Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, OFM (who was named Pastor in Medjugorje after Fr. Jozo was sent to prison) spread publicly by the Bishop of Mostar have been refuted countless times by the very woman whose name appears at the end of the letters - who was supposed to have written them and sent them to the bishop. ... she pointed out to him that two letters he had with her name at the end were even written in different handwriting... "I am ready to swear by the Cross in the presence of anybody and everybody that I never disclosed or wrote who the father of the child is." The bishop's response was to ask her to be quiet, and he continued spreading those letters to journalists as authentic!
(Cf. "At the Sources of Medjugorje: Objections," Daria Klanac, ZIRAL, Hrvatski mladezi bb, Mostar, 1999, p. 39).
The Holy Father has just recently thanked Fr. Jozo for all that he has done in a signed blessing delivered to Fr. Jozo by Polish pilgrims coming to Medjugojre via Rome and the Vatican. And what is it that Fr. Jozo has done to draw this extraordinary attention and gratitude of the Holy Father except to "protect the children' as heaven asked him to do. The original children were the visionaries when the Communists tried to silence them. It was Fr. Jozo and not the bishop who protected the children. And it is Fr. Jozo and not the Bishop who has continued to "protect the children" of Medjugorje worldwide.
Soon all will come into the light. And be at peace. These kinds of slanders are exactly the kinds of things that should be expected
if Our Lady were really coming to Medjugorje!