Documents on Medjugorje from
|Conclusion to "Mirror of Justice" a book by Mgr Ratko Peric, Bishop of Mostar
The Church’s position
According to an official communiqué dated 10th April 1991, composed on the basis of the thorough and comprehensive work of the commissions of experts, the bishops did not find a single indication or sign which might have led them to say that the phenomena in Medjugorje are of supernatural origin.
Nor has anything of significance since happened with regard to the “apparitions” and “messages” so as to lead to a reconsideration. It follows that those who preach in our churches from the very altars about these phenomena as if they were recognized and authentic apparitions and messages are not acting in accordance with the Church’s position.
An interpretation of the “pilgrimages”
The Secretary of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith twice (in 1996 and 1997) cited the episcopal pronouncement of 1991 and concluded:-
“From what has very rightly been said about the matter, it follows that official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, taken to be a place of authentic Marian apparitions, may not be organised whether at parish or diocesan level, for to do so would be in conflict with the solemn pronouncement of the bishops of the former Yugoslavia in their previously mentioned communiqué.”
On 26th June 1998 the selfsame Secretary of the Congregation expressed an opinion to the like effect, saying that “unofficial pilgrimages” to Medjugorje are permitted only on condition that they are not to be deemed to amount to recognition of the authenticity of the “apparitions,” from which it follows that even “unofficial pilgrimages” are not permitted if they involve the recognition of the authenticity of the “apparitions”.
Accordingly, those who come to Medjugorje with the intention of recognizing the so-called “apparitions” and “messages” are not working in harmony with the Church’s position. There is no apparent need for the faithful to come to Medjugorje from the four corners of the earth to say the rosary, make their confessions or take communion, when they may do all these things religiously in their own parishes, where Our Lord Jesus Christ is present in the sacrament of the altar, and Our Lady is always ready to offer a mother’s care.
From disobedience to schism
For many years the diocese of Mostar and Duvno has been afflicted by the incomprehensible disobedience of a small number of members of the Franciscan province of Herzegovina with regard to handing over a number of parishes “to the free disposition of the [diocesan] bishop”, in accordance with a Papal decree of 1975.
In 1997 the general administration of the OFM took the most serious measures as a result of such disobedience, including the expulsion of disobedient members from the Order. Eight members have been expelled from the Franciscan order in this way. The Holy See has confirmed their expulsions. Some of them have occupied a number of parishes, in which, even though they have been punished by suspension a divinis, they illicitly and sacrilegiously act as clerics, hearing inefficacious confessions, officiating at invalid weddings, and administering invalid confirmations.
Bishops and priests who come to Medugorje from all over the world and at the request of parishioners or other moving spirits make pronouncements about the “apparitions” and “messages” of Medjugorje as though they were authentic do not help order, peace and the necessary unity of this diocese and the Church by their presence or by their pronouncements.
A serious sin against the unity of the Church was committed on 5th October 1997, when some purported bishop, telling neither his name nor whence he came, but passing through Medjugorje at the request of the disobedient Franciscans, confirmed more than 400 children in [a] neighbouring parish ..., against the express provisions of canon law. According to information received later, the officiating cleric was a Hercegovinian Franciscan who had blasphemously represented himself to be a bishop. In 2001 he was expelled from the Franciscan Order.
An even worse scandal occurred last year in June 2001, when some disobedient elements invited an Old Catholic deacon, who falsely represented himself to be a bishop, announcing that he accepted the “apparitions” of Medjugorje, and who officiated at the invalid confirmations of hundreds of candidates for confirmation in three parishes.
We humbly commend the ecclesiastical unity of this diocese to the Immaculate Virgin who conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost and gave birth to the Light of the World, Jesus Christ , the Lord of Righteousness (1 John 2, 1). We accordingly turn to her calling upon her as we do in her litany: “Mirror of truth, pray for us!”
Ratko Peric, Bishop
Theotokos Catholic Books - Unapproved Apparitions - www.theotokos.org.uk