Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More Than ONE Trouble at Medjugorje

Last week, 30+ Wisconsin residents on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje were victims of a horrible motor vehicle accident; the worst-injured was a local man who is known for his positive, charming personality and unfailing charity.

That was a sorrowful event, although it appears that most of the victims will recover well, and the worst-injured man will (at least) live, able to be a good father to his children.

But there's another side to Medjugorje, which caused the Papal Household's preacher to suddenly have a "schedule conflict" instead of attending. The story is told in these letters:

In order to avoid repeating abuses that have occurred in the past, for almost six years now a decision of the Diocesan Chancery of Mostar in the form of a circular letter dated 23 August 2001, has been in force and sent to all the parish rectories and communities of Religious men and women which declares [inter alia]:

“3. - All Parish rectories and Religious institutions are obliged to forward to this Diocesan Chancery in due time, the names of all foreign priests and bishops coming from beyond the areas where the Croatian language is spoken, who have been invited to hold spiritual retreats, seminars and similar spiritual encounters, in which the Word of God is preached and explained. Along with the name(s) and the request, a copy of the celebret of the priest or bishop must be included, who after having received written permission from this Diocesan Chancery, will be allowed to hold such spiritual exercises”

....Despite the above mentioned decision, the news of a spiritual retreat for priests directed by Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa OFM Cap., Preacher of the Papal Household, to be held in Medjugorje at the beginning of July 2007 appeared on the internet many months ago, yet the organizers of this retreat did not inform the Diocesan Chancery in Mostar according to the norm, prior to the event. In this regard, celebrations of the sacrament of reconciliation are being publicized billing, alongside Fr Cantalamessa, Fr. Jozo Zovko; yet the latter since 2004 has been relieved of all priestly faculties in the territory of the dioceses of Herzegovina (Vrhbosna, 3/2004, pp.293-298).

(In other words, Fr. Zovko is in Big Trouble with the Bishop of Herzegovina.)

(...)the Diocesan bishop mentioned the following regarding Medjugorje:

“1 – The pastoral obstinacy of the pastors and other associates of Medjugorje is quite evident on the ‘Medjugorje’ internet site which bears the title ‘Marian Shrine’. ‘Medjugorje’ is neither a diocesan nor national or international shrine. This status must be acknowledged while the events remain as they stand.

2 - The obstinacy of the pastors and other associates of Medjugorje is also evident in the their disregard for the circular letter of the Chancery of 2001, which states that priests coming from beyond the areas where the Croatian language is spoken are not to be invited without the express and written permission of the Diocesan Chancery.

3 - The obstinacy of the pastors and other associates of Medjugorje is evident in that a member of your Province, Fr. Jozo Zovko, who has no priestly faculties and who is forbidden from celebrating any priestly functions in this diocese, has been invited this year to preside at the Way of the Cross in Medjugorje and has been in this regard presented as available for confessions”.

After exchanging various letters between the Diocesan Chancery and the Parish Rectory of Medjugorje, the pastor of Medjugorje Fr. Ivan Sesar notified the bishop in his letter dated 13 June 2007 that: “Upon my insistence due to the shortness of time, I asked P. Cantalamessa to send his acknowledgment of receipt of my letter by fax, which he did in the meantime. He accepts my apology and regrets that due to the newly arisen circumstances he cannot come, since in principle he never does public appearances without the permission of the local Ordinary”.

Bishop Perić and Fr. Cantalamessa exchanged letters on 13 June. Fr. Cantalamessa informed the bishop that he wrote a letter to Fr. Sesar on 8 June. Fr. Cantalamessa wrote in his letter to the bishop on 13 June: “My principle is not to preach, especially not to the clergy, without the permission of the local bishop”.This Diocesan Chancery never received any written request for permission as is the norm, from either of the parties involved with regard to the spiritual retreat and its moderator....

Msgr. Srećko MajićVicar General

We all know that 'God writes straight with crooked lines.' Perhaps that bus accident was meant as a message.

HT: Gerald


xxxxxx said...

I was open to Medjugorje at first, until I heard of the disobedience shown to the authority of the Church. Along with the tons of boring messages. Along with one of the girls receiving messages for a certain amount of time, then saying that the Virgin had given her the last message, then a few years later she's getting messages again...I wonder if the country likes the tourism and keeps these so-called visionaries working.

I don't trust it...no vocations from any of these people? The whole is thing is fishy...it gets my goat to see holy cards with "Our Lady of Medjugorje". I don't think so...

I stay quiet not to insult anyone but have received Medjugorje related gifts from people and never know what to say...

Now let's duck for cover.

WI Catholic said...

While I am not one in 'favor' of Medj either, I need to point out one fact here. MATRIMONY, the Wedded State, IS a Vocation! So is the Single Life, if one is called to it.

Now I realize that Diana is speaking of religious life (Sister, Brother, Priest), but the world respects marriage very little today, and we need to keep reminding people... it is a Vocation.

God bless~

Dad29 said...

Yes, WICath.

And that has to do...how?...with the post and response?

WI Catholic said...

With the post, other than I have my own suspicions of Medj, not a lot. With the response, it has to do with this aspect

"...no vocations from any of these people? "

That in itself cannot be 'proof' that Medj is not 'real', because Marriage AND the Single Life are just as much Vocations as are the Religious Life and Priesthood.

There are, last I heard, several of the alleged 'visionaries' who have entered the Vocation of Matrimony.

There are plenty of other reasons to be...er, cautious, about Medj, IMHO. But the lack of a certain kind of vocation does not mean that 'NO' vocations exist in those involved.

Marriage is a very real, and very difficult Vocation. Today, there is a major attack on it from all aspects, including cohabitation, no fault divorce, a HUGE number of Null decisions, and same sex marriage. It is extremely important for all to remember, especially Catholics/Christians, that Jesus thought Marriage important enough as a Vocation, as an indissoluble Covenant, as a State of Life, that He chose to honor His Mother's wish by performing His first miracle at the Wedding at Cana. He elevated it to Sacrament.

Those called to the Single Life are also living their Vocation, and are serving Him in a different way from those called to the Priesthood or religious life, but it is just as valid as a Vocation.

Whether any of the alleged visionaries EVER become a religious or a priest, there ARE Vocations in their midst.

The greatest concern that I have about Medj is the lack of obedience to the Bishop by some that are involved. The first step to Sainthood is Obedience. I consider St Pio and Fr Solanus Casey as examples.