Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On Medjugorje Disobedience - Bishop of Mostar's actions were ruled "Wrong and illegal"

On Medjugorje Disobedience - Bishop of Mostar's actions were ruled "Wrong and illegal"  By Daniel Klimek -- January 4, 2011
 “After many years of investigation, the tribunal arrived at its decision on 27 March, 1993. In document 17907/86 CA, it is stated that Father Ivan Prusina's expulsion from the order and Bishop Zanic's demand to declare Prusina ad statem laicalem was both wrong and illegal. The Catholic Press failed to take note of this.” - Monsignor Tutto

“As long time readers of CMR [Creative Minority Report] are aware, we discuss almost every thing on this blog. Almost. There is one topic not to be discussed here"...... "The M-word. Yes, Medjugorje"
So once wrote Matthew and Pat Archbold, Catholic journalists for the National Catholic Register and bloggers at CMR.

“Medjugorje,” the very word is enough to alarm a certain class of readers. The Marian apparitions in Medjugorje constitute one of the most fascinating and controversial subjects within the Catholic Church. Many Catholics know that controversy surrounds the subject. Many Catholics know that the Bishop of Mostar strongly opposed the apparitions at Medjugorje while the six visionaries, as well as the Franciscans of St. James parish at Medjugorje, and about 45 million Catholic pilgrims—among them hundreds of cardinals and bishops—have supported the devotions in the Bosnian village.

While the root of the controversy stems from Bishop Pavao Zanic's strong opposition to the mystical events in the village, few may know why that opposition started – in other words, why the controversy began around Medjugorje. After all, in the initial stages of the apparitions Bishop Zanic was amongst Medjugorje's strongest supporters.
Thus, what caused him to change his mind?

Fewer may know that the Holy See has, through an official tribunal, resolved the matter in 1993, ruling that the bishop was indeed wrong on the matter that started the controversy: he was wrong on the matter that caused him to change his mind about the authenticity of the apparitions in Medjugorje.

The controversy started on January 17, 1983, almost two years after the apparitions began, when Bishop Zanic ordered the expulsion of two Franciscan friars in the Mostar diocese, Fr. Ivica Vego and Fr. Ivan Prusina, arguing that they should be reduced to laity status (“ad statem laicalem”). The visionaries reportedly were encouraged to ask the Virgin Mary, during their apparitions, about the bishop's decision.
One of the visionaries, Vicka Ivankovic, explained what the reply was: “Our Lady wants it said to the bishop that he has made a premature decision. Let him reflect again, and listen well to both parties. He must be just and patient. She says that both priests are not guilty.”

These are the comments that caused the bishop to change his mind about the authenticity of the apparitions. The eminent French theologian Fr. Rene Laurentin, who has been one of Medjugorje's most influential supporters, explained the situation simply: “The principal argument of Bishop Zanic is reduced to the following: The apparition criticized the bishop. Therefore it is not the Virgin.”

It just happens that the Marian apparition was right, while Bishop Zanic was indeed wrong on this matter. Ten years after the controversy began, the Apostolic Signatura Tribunal, the highest tribunal of the Holy See, rendered the Church's decision on this controversy, stating that Bishop Zanic acted prematurely. Catholic author Denis Nolan explained: “His expulsion of the priests and his declaration of 'ad statem laicalem' against them was declared unjust and illegal [by the Tribunal].” (emphasis added). This verdict was passed by the Apostolic Signatura Tribunal on March 27, 1993 in case No. 17907/86CA.

The Holy See's verdict on the matter proves that what the Medjugorje visionaries said about the case, as reported to them by their apparitional experience of the Virgin Mary, was in fact correct. The bishop acted not only harshly and prematurely, but also illegally, against the accused, as the Church later explained in its verdict. The Holy See's verdict also proves that the case that formed the root of controversy around Medjugorje was, in fact, resolved in favor of the apparitions. Since if an apparition of the Virgin Mary is, in fact, authentic then it cannot lie. 

Denis Nolan explained why Bishop Zanic originally accused the two Franciscan friars of misconduct in the first place in 1983. “The bishop had severely disciplined the priests for having administered the sacraments to Catholics who had chosen to attend Mass in their Franciscan chapel in Mostar instead of the church in Mostar he had taken from the Franciscans and given to the secular clergy as part of his Cathedral parish.”
It is troubling that much of the Catholic media, when covering Medjugorje, has ignored the Vatican's verdict on this monumental case – as it is the core of the controversy that inspired Bishop Zanic's original opposition toward Medjugorje's Marian apparitions. What is even more troubling is that much misinformation about this case has been spread in western Catholic media outlets.

For example, in the July 2, 2002 issue of The Catholic Herald, a journal sold in most Catholic parishes in England and Wales, Simon Caldwell—a writer who has a notorious history of writing dubious stories about Medjugorje—authored an article wherein he explained: “In the 1980s two such Friars, Fathers Ivica Vego and Ivan Prusina, were expelled from their order for disobedience by a Vatican tribunal, acting on the advice of Bishop Zanic...” This falsehood promulgated by Caldwell was quickly discredited in a letter written to The Catholic Herald by Monsignor George Tutto of London, who in reply to Caldwell's lie pointed to the Holy See's 1993 verdict on the case, explaining: “Just the opposite [of Caldwell's claim] is the truth.”
Monsignor Tutto explained: “After many years of investigation, the tribunal arrived at its decision on 27 March, 1993. In document 17907/86 CA, it is stated that Father Ivan Prusina's expulsion from the order and Bishop Zanic's demand to declare Prusina ad statem laicalem was both wrong and illegal. The Catholic Press failed to take note of this.”

But the opposite – misinformation about the Vatican's verdict – was promulgated in much of the Catholic press. The fact that the Medjugorje visionaries, and specifically their apparitional experiences, were in line with the Holy See's verdict was ignored as a worthwhile news story. Notwithstanding the reality that the core case which evoked controversy between the Bishop of Mostar and the apparitions of Medjugorje was finally resolved by the Church's supreme tribunal, showing that the words of the apparition were indeed correct. Interestingly, the words of the apparition were more modest than the Church's. Vicka explained that Our Lady said the bishop acted prematurely. The Vatican tribunal explained that the bishop acted wrongly and illegally.    please leave your comments at source site - http://ministryvalues.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1374&Itemid=125#josc8082

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