Thursday, July 06, 2006

Bishop Peric asks Medjugorjie Visionaries to Stop Claims

Bishop Ratko Peric of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno, Bosnia-Herzegovina
made some very strong comments regarding the claims of apparations in Medjugorje during a homily her delivered for a confirmation Mass on June 15th. In addition to condemning sacreligious celebration of the sacraments he asked the visionaries to stop making claims of apparitions.

Bishop Peric said,
"1 - Medjugorje is a Catholic parish in which liturgical and pastoral activities are carried out, just as in all the other parishes of this diocese of Mostar-Duvno. No-one except the official Church authorities is then authorized to attribute the formal title of “shrine” to this place.
2 - On the basis of Church investigations of the events of Medjugorje, it cannot be determined that these events involve supernatural apparitions or revelations. This means that till now the Church has not accepted, neither as supernatural nor as Marian, any of the apparitions.
3 - Priests who canonically administer this parish of Medjugorje or those who come as visitors, are not authorised to express their private views contrary to the official position of the Church on the so-called 'apparitions' and 'messages', during celebrations of the sacraments, neither during other common acts of piety, nor in the Catholic media.
4 - The Catholic faithful are not only free from any obligation to believe in the authenticity of the “apparitions” but they must also know that church pilgrimages are not allowed, whether official or private, individual or group, or from other parishes, if they presuppose the authenticity of the 'apparitions' or if by undertaking them attempt to certify these 'apparitions'.
5 - As the local Bishop, I maintain that regarding the events of Medjugorje, on the basis of the investigations and experience gained thus far, throughout these last 25 years, the Church has not confirmed a single 'apparition' as authentically being the Madonna. The fact that during these 25 years there has been talk of tens of thousands of 'apparitions' does not contribute any authenticity to these events, which according to the words of our current Pope, who I encountered during an audience on 24 February this year, commented that at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith they always questioned how all these 'apparitions' could be considered authentic for the Catholic faithful. They particularly do not seem to be authentic when it is known beforehand that these so-called 'apparitions' will occur."

He continued,
"This fact and the flood of so-called apparitions, messages, secrets and signs, do not strengthen the faith, but rather further convince us that in all of this there is nothing neither authentic nor established as truthful.
Therefore I responsibly call upon those who claim themselves to be 'seers', as well as those persons behind the 'messages', to demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish. In this fashion they shall show their necessary adherence to the Church, by neither placing private 'apparitions' nor private sayings before the official position of the Church. Our faith is a serious and responsible matter. The Church is also a serious and responsible institution! "

The full text of Bishop Peric's homily is available here.


bg said...

A couple of clarifications to the points you have posted re the Bishop of Mostar’ homily:

1. In August 1993, Cardinal Kuharic, head of the new commission appointed to examine the Medjugorje events, stated: “We bishops, after a three-year-long commission study, accept Medjugorje as a holy place, as a SHRINE. This means we have nothing against it if someone venerates the Mother of God in a manner also in agreement with the teaching and belief of the Church. Therefore, we are leaving that to further study. The Church does not hurry.” (Glas Koncila 1993).

2. Priests not authorised to express their private views... so what is the Bishop of Mostar doing, if not expressing his own private views?
Firstly, the Church has not suppressed discussion of Medjugorje. But the Vatican has stated publicly that any views expressed by the Bishop of Mostar are his PERSONAL views and not representitive of the Church which is still examining the Medjugorje issue.

Yet the Bishop calls for obedience but fails to respond to the Vatican’s call for him not to preach about the Medjugorje issue.

4. The point you make about pilgrimages... Some confusion arose in 1996 when a flurry of media reports, prompted by the then bishop of Mostar, suggested that Medjugorje was ‘off-limits’, but in August of that year the Director of the Holy See’s press office, Dr Joaquin Navarro-Valls, stated: “You cannot say people cannot go there until it has been proved false. This has not been said, so anyone can go if they want - nothing has changed, nothing new has been said. The problem is if you systematically organise pilgrimages, organise them with the bishop and the Church, you are giving canonical sanction to the facts of Medjugorje. This is different from people going in a group who bring a priest with them to go to confession.”

DominiSumus said...

First, I have not made any points. All the points and opinions expressed in my post are direct quotes from the bishop.

Personally, I think the apparition claims are false and that is my right.

With regards to the pilgrimages, one must read what the bishop wrote in context. He did not say that pilgrimages are not allowed. He said that pilgrimages are not allowed if they presuppose the authenticity of the apparitions or of they are taken in an attempt to certify the apparitions.