en dan nu op bedevaart naar Medjugorje! Laat ons maar meteen kotsen!
als jullie nu zeer aandachtig het voorgaande hebben gelezen namelijk de studie van socioloog Mart Bax dan gaan we nu op zoek naar een organisatie die ons naar dit "oord van vrede" wil brengen...en we vonden een Ollandse vereniging die hierin al jaren blijkt gespecialiseerd te zijn. Lees vooral de "deskundige" uitleg op hun site en let vooral op de namen van de pensions waar de bedevaarders zullen gelogeerd worden. Indien de familienamen jullie niks meer zouden zeggen, herlees dan maar eens vlug Mart Bax over de "rocketeers" van Medjugorje en over de rivaliserende clans die mekaar hebben uitgemoord en niet alleen mekaar maar ook Serviêrs en Moslims...de Ostojic's, eigenaars van de pensions, zijn echt vrome mensen! En vergeet ook niet de uitstap te maken naar "de zwaar getroffen parochies van de Franciskanen" (lees ook even terug Mart Bax over de plaatsen waar deze zwaar getroffen parochies zich bevinden!) en naar Siroki Brijeg waar onze geliefde pater Zovko helaas wat rust neemt maar waar "30 Franciskanen hun leven gaven voor hun geloof" en waar je dan ook kan bidden op hun graf...(Ter herinnering we zijn wel degelijk in 2010!)
NAAR MEDJUGORJE MET DE STICHTING MEDJUGORJE BEDEVAARTEN
Stichting Medjugorje Bedevaarten Theo van den Heuvel (voorzitter en tevens één van de reisleiders) Ridder 25 5282 GE Boxtel Tel. 0411-601565. E-mail:
Miljoenen en miljoenen mensen in de hele wereld geloven dat Maria, de
Moeder van Jezus én onze Moeder, sinds 25 juni 1981 is verschenen aan
zes jongeren. Die verschijningen zijn nog steeds niet afgelopen:
de zieners Vicka, Ivan en Marija zien de Koningin van de Vrede nog
dagelijks, terwijl Ivanka en Jakov haar nog slechts één keer per jaar
mogen aanschouwen. De zieneres Mirjana ziet de Koningin van de
Vrede elk jaar op 18 maart en vaak ook op de tweede van elke maand.
Moeder Maria nodigt de pelgrims praktisch altijd uit om daarbij
aanwezig te zijn.
Zeer veel mensen uit alle
werelddelen willen zelf naar Medjugorje gaan, gelovig, kritisch of
anderszins. Ongeveer veertig miljoen pelgrims zijn er al geweest, en
vaak meerdere malen, want Medjugorje is een weldaad voor ieder die zijn
hart open stelt voor Gods genade.
WACHT NIET OP ERKENNING
De verschijningen in Medjugorje zijn weliswaar nog niet door de
rooms-katholieke Kerk erkend, maar Medjugorje heeft van diezelfde Kerk
al wel de status van bedevaartsoord gekregen. In Lourdes heeft men
destijds vier jaar op erkenning van de verschijningen moeten wachten en
in Fatima dertien jaar. De goede God en Moeder Maria zullen het niet
erg gevonden hebben dat de pelgrims zich daardoor niet hebben laten
weerhouden, maar van het begin af aan in groten getale toestroomden.
Jezus heeft zelf gezegd, dat een goede boom goede vruchten voortbrengt.
Zelfs de meest kritische personen kunnen niet ontkennen dat de vruchten
in Medjugorje onmiskenbaar goed zijn én zeer talrijk! In Medjugorje
wordt ons rijke geloof nog echt gevierd en beleefd!
WAAROM MET ONZE STICHTING
Onze Stichting Medjugorje Bedevaarten werd op 23 februari 1990
opgericht mede door de Stichting Vriendenkring Medjugorje Nederland als
vervolg op een succesvol particulier initiatief. Sindsdien heeft zij al
vele tientallen bedevaarten per vliegtuig georganiseerd. Zij maakt
daarbij gebruik van haar grote ervaring en van de prima contacten met
de bevolking van Medjugorje en omgeving. Daarom is onze Stichting de aangewezen organisatie om uw bedevaart naar Medjugorje tot in de puntjes te regelen.
BEGIN OP SCHIPHOL
Onze vliegbedevaarten beginnen op de luchthaven Schiphol. U hoort van
ons, hoe u daar kunt komen en waar u precies moet zijn. En natuurlijk
laten we u ook weten, waar u uw medepelgrims zult ontmoeten, zodat u
samen verder kunt gaan. U ontvangt tijdig uw vliegticket. Indien
mogelijk is er vóór het vertrek in een gebedsruimte van de luchthaven
een Eucharistieviering voor onze pelgrims.
Stichting Medjugorje Bedevaarten organiseert een aantal bedevaarten die
begeleid worden door een priester en een ervaren reisleider.(Meestal de heer Theo van den Heuvel)
Bij kleinere groepen zal dat niet altijd mogelijk zijn, omdat priesters
en reisleiders soms moeilijk te vinden zijn. Maar ook voor die kleinere
groepen en voor individuele personen hebben wij prima mogelijkheden!
(Zie de paragraaf 'OP EIGEN GELEGENHEID' )
Wij vliegen met Croatia Airlines. Dat is weliswaar geen grote
maatschappij, maar men beschikt wel over betrouwbare vliegtuigen, o.a.
de moderne Airbus. In de periode van april t/m oktober 2009 vliegen we
op zaterdag en woensdag rechtstreeks van Schiphol naar Split. We
vertrekken rond 15.00 uur en landen ongeveer twee uur later in Split.
Onderweg worden dranken en een lichte lunch geserveerd. In het
vliegtuig kan geen rekening gehouden worden met diëten.
VERDER PER BUS
Op het vliegveld Split staat de bus klaar, die ons in minder dan drie
uur naar de pensions in Medjugorje brengt. Onderweg passeren we o.a. de
beroemde badplaatsen Split, Omis, Makarska en Podgora. In Vepric komen
we langs het Kroatische Lourdes. Na twee uur genoten te hebben van het
fraaie landschap met o.a. de Adriatische Zee en haar vele eilanden
verlaten we de Dalmatische kust langs hoog oprijzende rotswanden en
gaan door het schilderachtige bergland naar Medjugorje. Tijdens de
busreis bereiden we ons biddend en zingend voor op de aankomst in het
genadeoord van de Koningin van de Vrede, terwijl er ook voldoende tijd
is om met de medereizigers kennis te maken. De bus brengt ons tot vóór
de deur van de pensions waar we zullen verblijven. We worden hartelijk
ontvangen door de gastvrouw en gastheer; we voelen ons echt welkom en
dat zijn we ook!
De pensions waar onze pelgrims logeren, staan allemaal in Medjugorje,
en wel in de buurtschap Bijakovici, waar de verschijningen in 1981
begonnen zijn. Daar wonen de zieners Ivan, Mirjana en Jakov. Wij
brengen onze pelgrims onder in verschillende pensions, te weten:
A. Mladen en Ana Ostojic (een splinternieuw pension tegenover de Tuin van St. Franciscus, een beschermd bosgebied) B. Kreso en Marica Ostojic; C. Sima Ostojic; D. Zdravko en Radmila Ostojic; E. Zeljko en Drazenka Ostojic; F. Iva Ostojic. G. Nikola en Mira Ostojic
De letters geven de volgorde aan.|
Onze pelgrims worden eerst ondergebracht in pension A. Als daar geen
plaats meer is, komt pension B aan de beurt, daarna C enzovoort.
Pension A t/m E liggen in een prachtig natuurgebied aan een doodlopende
weg. Er is daar nauwelijks verkeer: geen hinderlijke taxi's, geen
bussen, maar een heerlijke rust. U kunt uw raam dus zonder problemen
openzetten en u kunt voor uw genoegen buiten gaan zitten. De pelgrims
die er gelogeerd hebben zijn er enthousiast over en willen er de
volgende keer graag weer te gast zijn. Vanaf de pensions A t/m E kunt u
desgewenst over een prachtig paadje naar de kerk lopen.
DAGELIJKS GRATIS VERVOER IN MEDJUGORJE
Maar de gastheren van pension A en B brengen hun gasten gratis met een
personenbusje of een auto naar de kerk, naar de Verschijningsberg, naar
de Kruisberg, naar de zieners enzovoort. Elke dag, wanneer en waarheen
u maar wilt! De gastheer van pension D biedt gratis vervoer aan in de
loop van de namiddag en 's avonds. Een prima service!
HEBT U EEN ROLSTOEL?
Zit u regelmatig in een rolstoel, maar kunt u met hulp wel een stuk of
vier treden lopend omhoog, dan durven wij u uit te nodigen voor een
prachtreis die u nooit zult vergeten. Met uw rolstoel zit u steeds
vooraan en met het kleine personenbusje kunnen we u en uw rolstoel
gemakkelijk vervoeren. Maar u moet wel een paar treden omhoog kunnen.
Ook al zijn er zeker mensen in de groep die uw rolstoel willen duwen,
toch is het wel wenselijk om een begeleider mee te nemen. Voor u is
pension A de beste keus!
INDELING VAN DE PENSIONS
Onze pensions hebben enkele kamers met drie bedden, maar de meeste
kamers hebben twee bedden. Er zijn een paar echte eenpersoons kamers,
maar als de ruimte het toelaat, worden kamers met twee bedden ook als
eenpersoons kamer gebruikt. Tot nu toe konden we aan de grote vraag
naar eenpersoons kamers altijd voldoen! Voor de pelgrims die geen trap
op kunnen, zijn er wat kamers op de begane grond in pension A,B,D en G.
Bijna alle kamers hebben een eigen badkamer met douche, toilet en
wastafel. De bewoners van enkele kamers moeten een badkamer delen.
U logeert in Medjugorje op basis van volpension: drie goede maaltijden
per dag, inclusief diverse dranken aan tafel. 's Morgens een
welvoorzien ontbijt, waarbij zelfs een naar wens gekookt eitje niet
ontbreekt. 's Middags is er een warme lunch met elke dag een ander
driegangen menu. Als uw dieet niet ingewikkeld is, kan er rekening mee
gehouden worden. Omdat we 's avonds pas na afloop van de viering eten,
hebben we gekozen voor een broodmaaltijd. Degenen die niet zo lang
kunnen wachten, kunnen op een eerder tijdstip alvast wat eten. Koffie,
thee, andere dranken en fruit in de loop van de voormiddag, de namiddag
en 's avonds worden niet extra in rekening gebracht!
Uit ervaring weten we dat de Moeder Gods het programma in Medjugorje zo
laat verlopen dat iedere pelgrim krijgt wat hij/zij nodig heeft. Ook
daarin toont zij zich een echte Moeder.
We streven ernaar om in de loop van de voormiddag samen de Eucharistie te vieren in onze eigen taal.
beklimmen de Podbrdo (de Verschijningsberg) en de Krizevac (de
Kruisberg). U dient hiervoor goed ter been te zijn en over voldoende
adem te beschikken.
We gaan naar het Blauwe Kruis, evenals de genoemde 'bergen' een plaats van verschijningen.
We gaan bidden bij het graf van Pater Slavko Barbaric.
We bezoeken één of meer zieners.
kunnen in 2009 niet naar Pater Jozo Zovko in Siroki Brijeg, omdat hij
op eigen verzoek een jaar van rust en bezinning wil hebben voor
zichzelf. In plaats daarvan gaan wij toch naar Siroki Brijeg waar in
1945 dertig franciscanen hun leven gaven voor het geloof. We bezoeken
de plaats waar dat gebeurde en we bidden bij hun graf. Natuurlijk gaan
we ook naar het Instituut van de Heilige Familie, dat door Pater Jozo
gebouwd is als tehuis voor weesmeisjes en meisjes die het om andere
redenen heel moeilijk hebben.
bezichtigen het Instituut en vieren er de Eucharistie in een prachtige
kapel. We brengen een bezoek aan Campo della Vita (het
drugsverslaafden-centrum van Zr. Elvira) en aan de Oase van de Vrede
(waar een religieuze gemeenschap leeft).
Wij gaan s morgens naar Mostar via een prachtige route. In Mostar gaan
we eerst de herstelde Stari Most, de beroemde oude brug, bezichtigen.
Als enige bedevaartorganisatie bezoeken wij de zwaar getroffen
parochies van de Franciscanen en bewonderen de wederopbouw. We maken
kennis met de begeesterde pater Luka en we vieren daar samen de
Eucharistie. Na afloop worden we gastvrij onthaald op hapjes en
drankjes. Indrukwekkend en zeer positief! Onze pelgrims zijn daar
altijd laaiend enthousiast over! We zijn vóór de lunch weer terug in
DE AVONDVIERING Het hoogtepunt van elke dag is de avondviering in de parochiekerk. Het programma is dan als volgt: - Twee rozenhoedjes; - Eucharistieviering; - Kroatisch gebed (geloofsbelijdenis, zeven keer Onze Vader, Wees gegroet en Eer aan de Vader); - zegening van devotionalia; - gebed voor innerlijke en licamelijke genezing; - het derde rozenhoedje.
- Op donderdag wordt het derde rozenhoedje vervangen door
Eucharistische Aanbidding en op vrijdag door de verering van het H.
Kruis. -Op woensdag en zaterdag is er 's avonds om 22.00 uur (zomertijd) een uur Eucharistische Aanbidding in de kerk.
Een kort uitstapje naar de fraaie Kravica-waterval staat ook op het programma.
beslist zelf in hoeverre u aan het programma deelneemt! Indien u aan
één of meer onderdelen van het programma niet deelneemt, ontvangt u
geen terugbetaling van een deel van de reissom.
In de periode van april t/m oktober 2009 vertrekken we op zaterdag rond
12.00 uur uit Split. We hoeven dan niet buitensporig vroeg uit
Medjugorje te vertrekken. Croatia Airlines vliegt op zaterdag en woensdag in het seizoen rechtstreeks van Split naar Amsterdam.
Er is dan geen tussenlanding in Zagreb. Die is er wel op andere
weekdagen in het seizoen. Buiten het seizoen is er altijd een
tussenlanding in Zagreb op alle weekdagen.
OP EIGEN GELEGENHEID
Als u individueel of met een eigen groep naar Medjugorje wilt gaan, wil
onze Stichting u daarbij graag van dienst zijn. Wij hebben een speciale
brochure samengesteld voor degenen die op eigen gelegenheid naar
Medjugorje gaan. Met behulp van die brochure mist u absoluut niets van
alle belangrijke plekjes en vieringen van Medjugorje. Bovendien weten
de gastheren van onze pensions heel goed, wat onze Stichting belangrijk
vindt voor de pelgrims en zij doen dan ook hun uiterste best om hun
gasten daarbij van dienst te zijn.
WAT KRIJGT U VOOR UW GELD? Uw vliegticket Schiphol - Split v.v. Alle luchthavenbelastingen in Nederland en Kroatië. Het vervoer van Split naar Medjugorje v.v. Het vervoer van Medjugorje naar Siroki Brijeg v.v. Het vervoer van Medjugorje naar Mostar v.v. Het vervoer van Medjugorje naar de Kravica-waterval v.v.
Complete pensionkosten op basis van volpension. s Morgens en s
avonds een goed verzorgde broodmaaltijd en s middags een prima warme
maaltijd. Geen vreemde gerechten! Er wordt rekening gehouden met een
niet al te ingewikkeld dieet. Alle dranken in het pension van uw aankomst tot vertrek zijn gratis, ook koffie, thee of iets anders tussendoor. In pension A en B gratis vervoer in Medjugorje zelf, wanneer en waarheen u maar wenst.
Desgewenst regelen wij een goede reisverzekering van ELVIA voor u.
Dat geldt ook voor een annuleringsverzekering van Elvia. De premie
bedraagt 7% van de reissom. .
Als u om dringende
redenen niet mee kunt, betaalt de annuleringsverzekering u de reissom
terug, zelfs als u tijdens de reis onverwacht naar huis moet. Het is
dus zeer wenselijk dat u die verzekering afsluit. Indien u dat wenst,
sluiten wij voor u een annuleringsverzekering af bij ELVIA. De premie
bedraagt ca. 7% van de totale reissom. Uw reispapieren ontvangt u
ongeveer enkele weken vóór het vertrek. We verstrekken u zeer
Indien u nadere inlichtingen en/of inschrijfformulieren wenst, kunt u
vrijblijvend contact opnemen met Theo van den Heuvel, voorzitter, en
HULP BIJ DE VOORBEREIDING
Wij willen u graag van dienst zijn bij de voorbereiding van uw reis. Na
aanmelding ontvangt u van ons een lijst met dingen die u zeker niet mag
vergeten en met zaken die wellicht van nut kunnen zijn. We geven u ook
informatie over het te verwachten weer in Medjugorje. Inwoners van de
landen van de Europese Unie dienen alleen een geldig paspoort te
hebben. Het moet nog drie maanden geldig zijn na afloop van de
bedevaart. Dit geldt ook voor mensen met een Amerikaans of Canadees
paspoort. Voor mensen die een andere nationaliteit hebben, kan een
visum vereist zijn. En dat moet tijdig aangevraagd worden.
Socioloog Mart Bax geeft zijn visie over Medjugorje...gelukkig zijn er nog de nuchtere Ollanders!
Na al die verschijningen, kierewiete franciscanen, pausen die met
elkaar duidelijk van mening verschillen en miljoenen goedgelovige
Katholieken die absoluut de maagd Maria willen zien en/of horen zouden
we beginnen te denken dat we terug in de Middeleeuwen zitten. Zo ver
zijn we trouwens niet van de waarheid of tenminste een geloofwaardige
waarheid want in deze zaak heeft iedereen zijn eigen versie van de
waarheid want er bestaat een sociologische analyse over deze zogenaamde
heilige plaats en de gebeurtenissen die daar plaats vonden. En weet,
beste lezertjes dat het niet beperkt bleef tot Mariaverschijningen,
sexschandalen en dergelijke...er gebeurde nog wel meer...en dat lezen
jullie in deze onderstaande uitstekende studie van ene ollandse
socioloog die ginder verbleef:
proposes that increased structural complexity in society
equates with greater efficiency, thus the more social
differentiation, the more specialized we become and better
able to perform our tasks. In developing countries, changing
from an agrarian economy to a diversified economy is one
manifestation of modernization. This is progress described
in the broadest terms but does progress really occur in this
manner? Does increased structural complexity really yield
anything truly worthwhile in developing countries? Short of
some cataclysm, modernism is viewed as a one-way street, but
is it really? Could modernization and its economic partner
globalization actually lead to what has been termed
barbarization or even decivilization? Is change always for
The Dutch sociologist Mart Bax
has spent well over fifteen years studying firsthand a small
town in Bosnia Herzegovina, which has been the site of
unprecedented growth, specialization, and globalization. The
name of the town is Medjugorje and Bax made "scientific"
outings on an annual basis to meet with his informants and
make and record observations. Medjugorje was a small
agrarian hamlet in Herzegovina prior to 1981, notable only
for being near the site of a massacre of Serbs by Croats in
1942. The Croats who allied themselves with Nazi Germany
took revenge on the Serbs under whose rule the Croats had
chafed after WWI. The Croats formed the paramilitary Ustasa
organization and with the help of Roman Catholic clergy
sought to purge Croatia and Bosnia of the hated Serbs who
were Orthodox Christians. Operating from Medjugorje, the
Ustasa rounded up the local Serbs and slaughtered several
hundred Serbs disposing of them in a ravine at a place
On June 24, 1981, the Virgin
Mary or Gospa as she is referred to in the local dialect
appeared to six Croatian teenagers who had gone out to have
a smoke or as was later revised by the local clerics, to
look for "lost lambs." What followed was a ten-year period
of unprecedented growth and modernization fueled by a steady
influx of pilgrims from Western Europe and America, freely
spending hard currency and enhancing the local economy.
Medjugorje prospered like never before despite the
opposition of the local Bishop and the suspicions of the
Yugoslav secret police and government
The Virgin Mary or as she
preferred to be called in Medjugorje, the Queen of Peace,
brought prosperity to the town and its environs. Villagers
expanded their homes into boarding houses to accommodate the
pilgrims, concessionaires and tour guides sprang up, gift
shops, hotels, and cafes were all built. Local villagers
were pressed into service as laborers, technicians, and
hospitality workers. Entrepreneurs operated taxis and other
related businesses. Craftsman produced religious
paraphernalia for sale to tourists. Eventually so called
Peace Centers were constructed along with new churches and a
massive cathedral. And the miracles kept coming, regular
messages were received from the Gospa, spontaneous healing
of terminal illnesses were reported, visions and apparitions
were reported by pilgrims. It appeared to be a textbook case
of modernization and globalization under the most benign of
Evolutionary modernization had
come to rural Yugoslavia. The development of Medjugorje as a
shrine central to the worldwide Roman Catholic Church
integrated Medjugorje into the global economy as a major
tourist destination. By 1990, promoters of Medjugorje had
claimed over eighteen million visitors, although there is
really no way to verify these figures, one may assume the
numbers must have been in the millions.
But the net result by 1992 was
what Bax terms barbarization, not just sporadic violence but
organized brutality. Medjugorje is not unique, by examining
it we can understand why the fruits of modernization in
developing regions of the world is often times not liberal
democracy and peace but so often the barbarization process
described by Bax. World Bank and International Monetary Fund
loans do not always bring about liberal
So is Medjugorje an example of
modernization? Rostow equated economic progress with
modernization. And of course Marxian modernization in Russia
and China was all about quotas and five years plans which in
turn were designed to build infrastructure. Rostow's theory
was an alternative to Marx. The political scientists Easton
and Almond provide elaborate theories based upon structural
functionalism, the idea that the politics can be viewed as a
series of inputs and outputs. But more telling is the
revelation that much of modernization theory was
masquerading under the term political development and was
underwritten by the Ford Foundation throughout the 1960's.
Surely, the moguls of Detroit perceived communism as a
competitor and sought an alternative to the strong armed but
apparently successful Stalinist model of modernization. Thus
while there is no real consensus, there are several related
themes here, economic and social progress, specialization,
and the machinelike functioning of society. Medjugorje's
building and tourism boom, the replacement of an agrarian
society with a specialized one, must surely be a
modernization under any definition.
Modernization in the developing
world often meant dictatorships and botched attempts at
centrally planned economies. With the end of the Cold War,
democracy or rather its trappings was associated with
modernization. The oft-cited Fukuyama trumpeted that liberal
democracy and capitalism associated liberal economies were
the end result of a historical progression even if it was
tied to IMF and World Bank loans. Nonetheless some caution
against embracing democratization too quickly as a panacea
for developing nations. But is "modern man" really any more
refined than his ancestors. Economic might and copious
theory did not lessen the crimes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao.
And in developing countries is modernity just a thin veneer
that disappears under economic downturn or other
Bosnia was once part of the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the envy of all communist
nations. A place where socialism had worked, seemingly
irresolvable ethnic conflicts had been put aside to work
towards modernity and unity. The socialist economy produced
high quality consumer goods for export and even went head to
head with Detroit by introducing the Yugo car in the United
States. By all measures, Yugoslavia was making progress. But
under the surface of the socialist state, a long suppressed
and secretly nurtured nationalist antagonism
Tito's government after World
War II had been determined to rid Bosnia of fascist
elements, called the Ustasa, and their sympathizers in the
Croat population. The Ustasa took to the mountains and
carried on a low-level guerrilla conflict until 1957. On the
surface it appeared that order had finally been
reestablished but old hatreds die hard. According to Bax,
blood feuds continued in Bosnia. Likewise the Franciscan
Order which had openly sided with the Ustasa during World
War II, eventually returned to their churches and
monasteries. The Franciscans are a Roman Catholic religious
order with a long history in Bosnia dating from the 14th
century. They are essentially independent of the local
archdiocese in Mostar. In 1972, the Franciscans built a new
church in Medjugorje. By 1981 when the Virgin Mary appeared
to six children there, the Franciscans were locked in an
administrative dispute with the Bishop of Mostar over
control of the village church and their
The Franciscans immediately
latched onto the six children and began collecting the
messages the young seers received from the Virgin. The more
general messages urge peace, fasting and prayer and were
distributed worldwide. Other of the divine messages
contained instructions to the local populace including where
to build commercial establishments. Bax theorizes the
Franciscans had two purposes in promoting the apparitions
and messages, one to prevent control by the Bishop of Mostar
by establishing a viable religious shrine on the pilgrimage
tour circuit and second to assert local control and
pacification of the population and prevent blood feuds among
local Croat clans which had been endemic to the
R. Robertson has proposed that
increased globalization actually is a root cause of
religious fundamentalism and ethno-nationalism.
Globalization and modernization stimulate a response that at
times seems at odds with notions of progress. The Iranian
Revolution is an example of reaction to the modernization
and globalization that began occurring in Persia in the late
19th century and gained impetus under the Shah. Traditional
forces in Iran felt threatened by the changes being made and
eventually revolted and overthrew the old regime.
Bax, a political sociologist
based in Amsterdam, has found evidence of what he deems
barbarization in Medjugorje following the breakdown of
Yugoslav civil authority in 1991. Quoting Elias, Bax tells
us that the barbarizing process presupposes civilizing
processes. Bax reminds us that Bosnia Herzegovina was the
locale of 400 years of war between the Turks and Austrians;
the area became a checkerboard of separate ethnicities,
Serbs, Croats, and Muslims. The founding of Yugoslavia in
1919 did little to quiet the region as the Serbs dominated
the government. Croats were discriminated against and formed
bands of Ustase, the Serbs retaliated by forming
paramilitary bands known as Chetniks. The Second World War
turned Bosnia into a huge battlefield where Croats and
Muslims aligned with the Germans and fought Serbs and
Communist Partisans. The Partisans were victorious and the
Ustase eliminated, but by the late 1970's the Croats
including those in Medjugorje were again forming Ustase
The establishment of the shrine
in Medjugorje pacified the region. Bax reports that crime
decreased and violence disappeared. The Queen of Peace
brought millions of tourists who pumped huge sums of money
into the local economy. But as the state monopoly on power
evaporated in 1991, Croat nationalism reasserted itself,
often under the leadership of the Franciscans. In
Medjugorje, the Serbs were quickly eliminated by 1991 but
the civil war that was raging began to cut into the tourist
trade. Tour groups were often waylaid or prevented from
reaching their destination. Economically, the villagers had
in many cases taken out loans to expand their homes. Clans
controlled their rivalries as long as the money flowed in
from tourists. By 1991 most of the boarding houses were
empty except for those owned by the Ostojici clan, which had
good outside connections. Other clans asked the Ostojici to
share their good fortune; the Ostojici declined.
One of the most brutal aspects
of the war in Medjugorje was not the conflict between Croats
and Muslims or Serbs but between the Croats themselves. A
blood feud was soon ignited in Medjugorje and its environs
that killed 200 members of the village of 3000 and caused
another 600 to flee the region. Pilgrims at the Medjugorje
Peace Center did not even realize the feud was ongoing
although grisly atrocities including mutilations and torture
were carried out on a regular between the warring clans in
nighttime raids. Finally, elements of the Croatian Army
aligned with one of the warring clans intervened against the
Ostojici, 100 men were rounded up and quickly liquidated in
one of the many ravines in the area.
By the end of 1992, Medjugorje
was again accessible to tourists. Houses were being built
and repaired. Visitors were told Serb aggressors had done
the damage to the village. The Ostojici property was taken
over by their rivals, the remaining Ostojici having fled as
refugees to Germany. Bax finds the whole incident
reminiscent of a situation where escalating violence helped
by outside forces leads to a tragic outcome. But what is
puzzling is the sheer barbarity of the dispute, villagers
mutilated and tortured each other, elderly people were
murdered, homes were burned, and women and children killed.
Bax notes that the violence as it became more grisly also
became more organized. In regards to mutilation, he notes
they followed a fixed pattern with more and more parts of
bodies being removed as the conflict increased. Homemade
rocket launchers were used to chase out the Ostojici who
remained. As for the Mother of God, Bax reports the victors
offered up prayers of thanks for her special grace and
Was this internecine slaughter
in Medjugorje the fruits of modernization and globalization?
Robertson and Beyer in their examination of the Iranian
revolution explain how modernization and globalization
actually were root causes of Islamic fundamentalism in Iran.
Modernism Revisionism recognizes the tenacity of religion
and ethnicity that is resistant to change or "progress". In
the case of Medjugorje, even Croats of the same ethnicity
and religion slaughtered each other over the lowest common
denominator, clan differences. Additionally, not just Croats
died or were persecuted in the environs of Medjugorje,
ethnic cleansing of Muslims and Serbs also
Modernism has been criticized
for "taking a zero sum view of the relation between
tradition and modernity," Tradition supposedly will whither
as modernity increases. Thus in Medjugorje, even though the
shrine based on religious apparitions of the Virgin Mary was
religion based, the villagers themselves should have become
more "modern." This modernity spawned by the building of
hotels, restaurants, and tourist complexes. Initially, the
Franciscans were able to quell local tendencies towards
violence but even the Virgin Mary, busloads of pilgrims
seeking peace, the Medjugorje Peace Center built in honor of
the Queen of Peace, could not prevent horrendous violence.
Indeed modernization may have reinforced violent tendencies
based on centuries old tradition and enmity. It has been
observed that traditions adapt to modernization and may
actually be revitalized by the relationship.
The intertwining of modernity
and tradition is especially evident in Medjugorje. It is the
pilgrims from Europe and North America that brought the hard
cash that made Medjugorje a major tourist destination. At
first glance one would tend to dismiss the story of six
teens conversing on a daily basis with the Gospa as just so
much sensationalism. Yet, such apparitions have been
recognized in Fatima, Portugal to which the current Pope has
dedicated his reign. Other approved sites are Lourdes in
France and Guadalajara, Mexico. Medjugorje has not been
approved by the Vatican, the local Bishop of Mostar,
condemned the apparitions as false almost immediately. But
in a sense modernization and Vatican ambivalence permitted
the Franciscans to continue developing the site.
It was no coincidence that
Father Slavko Barbaric, a Franciscan schooled, as a
psychotherapist in Germany was one of the early handlers of
the six children. When Barbaric died last December while
leading a tour group, a special message was received by one
of the now adult visionaries that Father Slavko was in
heaven by the Gospa's side. Bax reports that the Franciscans
seemed remarkably well prepared to promote the apparitions
worldwide. The Franciscan order immediately sent their own
experts to Medjugorje to validate the ongoing apparitions.
More interesting is the global nature of the effort to
promote Medjugorje. According to Bax, for over a decade, the
international Medjugorje campaign was directed from
Franciscan University at Steubenville, Ohio. Tour promoters
specialize in Medjugorje, one of largest is run by Caritas
of Birmingham, Alabama, a cult dedicated to
According to a May 3, 2001 Fox
News story aired locally on channel 19 in Cincinnati, an ex
cult member compared Caritas to Waco and the cult leader
Terry Colafrancesco to David Koresh. Colafrancesco who began
the Alabama based cult in 1987 grosses over a million
dollars in annual income, he owns a 137 acre estate and
swimming pool while 50 followers work 12 hour days running
his publishing business that distributes Medjugorje tracts
and staff his travel agency that specializes in pilgrimages
to Medjugorje. The followers like Mike O'Neill who was
profiled by Fox, live in run down trailers. According to
O'Neill, children often sleep on the floor and members are
paid a miserly wage. Colafrancesco often makes odd dictates,
such as banning mayonnaise. Colafrancesco is tied to one of
the teen visionaries, Marija. Of the six Marija still
experiences the most visions, touring the world, and often
witnessing apparitions of the Virgin in the drawing rooms of
The worldwide pull of
Medjugorje has increased in recent years with a 20th
anniversary celebration planned for June 25, 2001. The
Marian devotions of John Paul II also provide a powerful
impetus to the Medjugorje movement. Numerous organizations
support Medjugorje in the United States and it is revered by
the charismatic movement of the Catholic Church, which is a
Catholic reaction to the Pentecostal movement and includes
such practices as faith healing and speaking in tongues. The
US State Department travel advisory for Bosnia indicates
that Medjugorje is the only locale in the country where
credit cards are accepted on a normal basis. The only thing
preventing Medjugorje from becoming permanent pilgrimage
fixture is lack of Papal recognition. The Vatican's official
position is that it neither approves nor disapproves of
Medjugorje but it does not doubt the sincerity of those who
choose to go there.
By 1992, the clan warfare
chronicled by Bax had subsided, the remnants of the Ostojici
left to continue their "war" from a refugee camp in Germany.
A new campaign of ethnic cleansing was then launched against
the remaining Muslims, the Serbs having been chased out in
1991. In 1992, forces from Medjugorje including the local
militia known as the rocketeers because of their use of home
made rocket launchers, slaughtered Muslims in a nearby
village and blew up the mosque. By 1994 the Franciscans had
built a church there. The scene was repeated in 1993 by the
rocketeers of Medjugorje as other Muslim villages were
razed, Franciscan churches established and Croat refugees
The final stage of ethnic
cleansing occurred in 1993 in Lavsa Valley against the
Muslims. The villagers who were not killed outright were
rounded up and murdered at a Croat run concentration camp
one half hour from Medjugorje. Transports of prisoners were
routed through Medjugorje but the Muslims were told to cover
their eyes lest their gaze pollute the Croat holy shrine.
The Western pilgrims never realized that an extermination
camp was only minutes away. Indeed, organizations like the
aforementioned Caritas of Birmingham blamed the Serbs for
all the inconveniences in the region including destruction
of buildings, much of which occurred during, inter clan
warfare among Croats.
Is Medjugorje a fair assessment
of modernization and globalization? Bax argues that we can
learn much from one small village in Bosnia Herzegovina. The
behaviors exhibited are not unique and even though the
region is striking for its barbarity and violence, much can
be applied to Eastern Europe as a whole. Indeed, Bax shows
that what appears to be random or senseless behavior when
looked at a higher level, makes perfect sense when analyzed
at the lowest level. This perhaps is the problem with
modernization theory; it seems to make sense at the macro
level when its proponents announce that religious and ethnic
differences will shrivel in the face of economic progress
and democracy. But in reality, as in Medjugorje,
modernization and globalization can actually enflame local
rivalries, which operate at the clan or tribal level. In
fact, barbarism may occur because of, not in spite of so
The collapse of communist
Yugoslavia might be viewed as progress, another socialist
regime unable to compete with capitalism and democracy.
However so called progress yielded barbarization when the
state structure collapsed. Tradition and religion became
stronger and were a basis for decivilization. Even the
presence of 18 million tourists between 1981 and 1991 along
with a modern infrastructure had no effect on Medjugorje,
indeed as soon as there was economic stress, the villagers
resorted to a vicious clan war.
Bosnia is not alone; other
states have similarly lapsed into barbarism under stress
despite modernization and loans from the Wolrd Bank and IMF.
One need only look to democratic Russia and its treatment of
Chechnia or the total disintegration of West Africa and the
Congo. Progress is not linear, perhaps these lapses in
civilization can be forestalled by authoritarian governments
or well-managed economies but it is troubling that much of
Medjugorje's support comes from the United States. There
appears to be a segment of the population that would
willingly revert to traditionalism if permitted to, as such
they must travel to Bosnia to behold the Miracle City of the
Queen of Peace. Others like Colafrancesco build their own
versions of Medjugorje in the United States.
Globalization is a two way
street as Medjugorje reveals. Westerners support a shrine
that has been condemned by the local ecclesiastical
authorities as fraudulent and common sense tells us that the
Mother of God cannot be issuing thousands of messages, some
on rather mundane issues such as where to place buildings.
Spontaneous healings are seldom what they appear and
apparition seekers staring into the sun have been known to
see many odd things. Nonetheless, Medjugorje continues to
prosper on both a global and local level. It also offers us
a look at barbarization and how easily it may occur.
Compared to the forces of tradition, religion, and
ethnicity, modernization and globalization appear to be of
secondary importance and that perhaps is the lesson of
The author, Jonathan Levy,
is an attorney working for both the victims of the Ustase
and the Phillip J. Kronzer Foundation for Religious
Research. He has filed several lawsuits against the
Franciscan Order, Vatican Bank, Croatian Liberation
Movement, and Medjugorje promoters including Caritas of
Birmingham alleging gross violations of human rights by the
Neo Fascist Franciscans at Medjugorje.
Vicky Randall and Robin
Theobald, Political Change and Underdevelopment, Duke
University press, Durham, 1998, pg. 28.
Mart Bax, Medjugorje: religion,
Politics, and Violence in Rural Bosnia, Free University
press, Amsterdam, 1995, pgs. 122-3.
The approved Roman Catholic
shrine of Fatima, Portugal involved three shepherd children
in 1917 coming upon an apparition of the Virgin Mary. The
obvious intent of the Medjugorje children's' handlers,
Franciscan monks, was to associate Medjugorje with the
approved shrines of Fatima and Lourdes.
Bax, pgs. 106 et
Randall and Theobald, pgs.
Randall and Theobald, pg.
Bax, p. 102
Mart Bax, Holy Mary and
Medjugorje's Rocketeers, The Local Logic of an Ethnic
Cleansing Process in Bosnia, Ethnologia Europaea, pg.
Bax, Rocketeers, p.
Randall and Theobald, pgs.
Ibid, p. 46.
Ibid, p. 46.
Ohio and Indiana are the
heartland of the international Medjugorje movement, besides
the aforementioned Franciscan University at Steubenville,
there are major Medjugorje centers at Norwood, Ohio, the
University of Dayton, and at Notre Dame, Indiana.
Interview with Mike and Jackie
O'Neill, April 2001.
Fox 19 News, Cincinnati, May 3,
2001, Local Man Escapes Cult by Andy Treinen.
en het is niet altijd zo geweest dat onze vriend Zovko door de
paus werd in de ban geslagen. het was ooit anders. Let ook vooral op de
data...zowel het bezoek aan Johannes Paulus II en al de lof dat onze
Jozo krijgt toegezwaaid evenals de lofbrieven van de overste der
Franciskanen datern van lang na de brieven van de bisschop van
Mostar...dus ze moeten niet zeggen dat ze van niks wisten daar in Rome.
Met onze Duitse paus lijkt het plots wel wat moeilijker te worden...en
daar kan iedereen alleen maar blij mee zijn dachten we zo. En zeker in
deze onfrisse zaak...
A Letter From Pope John Paul II to Fr. Jozo Zovko
Saturday Evening, August 24, 2002 Zagreb Daily Newspaper, "The Vercernji List"
Headline Reads: "A Surprising Gesture From the Vatican. The Pope Thanks Father Jozo for Medjugorje!"
The cover photo was taken when the Holy Father
welcomed Fr. Jozo in 1992, in the midst of the Bosnian war. At that
time the Pope told him: "I am with you, protect Medjugorje! Protect Our Lady's messages!"
Web site for "The Vercernji List" http://www.vecernji-list.hr
The article in the paper shows Fr. Jozo at his desk, reading the Pope's letter, with a caption to the left of the picture: "The Pope has signed a thank you note to Fr. Jozo Zovko." A translation of the article from Croatian reads:
Siroki Brijeg - The world renowned Franciscan, Fr. Jozo
Zovko, was more than surprised when yesterday Polish pilgrims came to
thank him for twenty-one years of testifying to the Medjugorje
apparitions, and especially when they handed him a thank you note
personally signed by the shaky hand of their best known compatriate,
John Paul II. Actually, after coming back from Poland the Pope wrote
from the Vatican to personally thank and send his apostolic blessing to
Fr. Jozo Zovko.
'Our Poland is grateful for your every word, for every thing that
you have done for us', said the Pope's collaborator, Krystyna
Gregorezyk, who personally handed the thank you note to Fr. Jozo in the
Siroki Brijeg church.
'So far I have received hundreds of gifts and thank you notes but
none can compare with this one. I am most pleasantly surprised,' a
visibly shakened Fr. Jozo said for our paper.
Fr. Jozo Zovko is a member of the Hercegovinian Franciscan
Province. As a witness to the Medjugorje apparitions, he has become one
of the best known priests in the world. Many tribes have made him their
chief and he is connected with many miraculous healings. According to a
poll conducted by "The Daily Catholic", Fr. Jozo has been elected among
twenty-nine Catholics of the century." (J.P.)
The Original Text in Italian:
"Imparto di cuore una particolare Benedizione Apostolica a Padre
Yozo Zovko, o.f.m. ed invoco nuova effusione di grazie e favori celesti
e la continua protezione della Beata Vergine Maria"
Joannes Paulus II
"I grant from the heart a particular blessing to Father Jozo Zovko,
o.f.m. and I invoke a new outpouring of graces and heavenly favors, and
the continuous protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary".
Joannes Paulus II.
By Denis and Cathly Nolan:
Now, according to what Krystyna Gregorezyk reported when she
presented the message, the letter was written this month in Rome right
after the Pope's return from Poland. Krystyna, who works as a
collaborator of the Holy Father in the Vatican, had breakfast with him
and several other Polish people before they left for Medjugorje. The
Pope signed the letter in front of Mrs. Gregorezyk.
It seems therefore that the words reported in the Newspaper,
Vercernji List, are real. In a verbal message to Fr. Jozo, conveyed by
Krystyna, the Pope also said that he is thankful for his apostolate for
Medjugorje, for what Fr. Jozo is doing and has done so far. The pope
said he was happy to give him a sign of support.
What did Fr.Jozo do for the Polish people if not spread the Medjugorje messages to them?
Krystyna said that the Pope was very joyful during this breakfast
and asked many questions about Medjugorje. He was also happy to hear
the testimonies about Medjugorje that the Polish pilgrims reported to
Of course, more enquiry should be made about this incredible event.
However, today it seems that this is the first written personal word of
encouragement, from the Pope, made public by the media, to a witness of
Medjugorje. This simple letter stands as a tangible and visible
document in support of the Holy Father's heartfelt thanks and
encouragement that he sent to Fr. Jozo through Krystyna.
All are encouraged to spread this news - that the Holy Father has
sent such a heartfelt blessing to this champion for Medjguorje and Our
Denis and Cathy Nolan
Children of Medjugorje
P.O. Box 1110
Notre Dame, IN 46556 (USA)
Tel: (574) 234 - 7888
Fax: (574) 287-7875
Letters of Clarification Regarding Fr. Jozo
Below you can find the letters of Provincial Fr. Slavko Soldo and
the Vicar General of the Franciscan Order Stefano Ottenbreit, that
states Fr. Jozo is a Franciscan in good standing in the Order, even if
he is under penalties from the Bishop.
11.21.2002 â Many people contact us regularly with
questions concerning the status of the Franciscan Fr. Jozo Zovko, OFM.
This is why we publish the "Attestation of Good Conduct" by Fr.
Stefano Ottenbreit, OFM, Vicar General of the Order of Friars Minor
(OFM) and a letter by Fr. Slavko Soldo, OFM, Provincial of the
Herzegovinian Franciscan Province of the Assumption of the BVM.
Fr. Stefano Ottenbreit, Vicar General of the Order, writes:
"I Fr. Stefano Ottenbreit, the undersigned, Vicar General of the
Order of Friars Minor, testify that Fr. Jozo Zovko is a Member in good
standing of the Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
in Herzegovina of our Order. I, also, declare to whom it may concern
that he has never been suspended from our Order."
Signed and sealed with the seal of the Order at our General Curia in
Rome on this 21st day of November in the year of the Lord 2002.
In fide, Fr. Stefano Ottenbreit, OFM, Vicar General
Fr. Slavko Soldo, OFM, Provincial of the Herzegovinian Franciscan Province of the Assumption of the BVM, writes:
"Fr. Jozo Zovko is a member of our community in good standing. He
was the pastor at Medjugorje when the apparition of the Blessed Mother
started in 1981. It was time of the communist regime in our country. As
pastor of Medjugorje Fr. Jozo was put in prison by the communist court.
After he was released from the prison, he continued to spread the
message of the blessed Mother Queen of peace.
In our community Fr. Jozo Zovko is known as a charismatic priest who
suffered for his faith and continues suffering. He spends long hours in
prayer, counseling and preaching. Most of the time he is in the church,
often for 10 hours a day.
Those who oppose the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje
are constantly after Fr. Jozo, trying to stop his mission, but those
who accept the Medjugorje consider him a dedicated priest and are
inviting him to lead retreats for them and pray for them in their
needs. Among those who are inviting him, are many priests and bishops.
Fr. Jozo is tireless in that service. He did ask permission to travel
to the United States and it was granted to him. I hope that this will
be of help to you.
Peace and all things good!"
Mostar, November 14, 2002, Fr. Slavko Soldo, provincijal
en nochtans moeten ze op de hoogte zijn geweest van eerdere brieven van de bisschop van Mostar...
Truth About Medjugorje by Msgr. Pavao Zanic,
Bishop of Mostar
Bishop Pavao Zanic, presided over
the Diocese of Mostar, from 1971-1993.
He exercised full ecclesiastical
jurisdiction over the parish of Medjugorje,
which is located in the region of
Bosnia-Herzegovina. He published the following article in 1990.
1. The truth regarding the events in Medjugorje is being sought
out by a Commission of the Bishop's Conference of Yugoslavia (kJ).
Their work though, is progressing slowly. Therefore with this statement
I wish to help the Commission in coming to a decision as soon as possible.
Propaganda in favor of Medjugorje is being rushed in order to place the
Church and the world before a "fait accompli". This has been the
intention of the defenders of Medjugorje from the beginning. It must
be admitted that they have succeeded, because the other side is either
working too slowly or remaining silent. For these reasons and due
to the motivation that I have been given from many from all over the world
who realize that the truth has been trampled upon, I have decided to make
another statement according to my duty and my conscience, and help the
With this statement
I wish to awaken the consciences of those who defend Medjugorje. Their
path is simple, wide and downhill all the way, while mine is difficult,
thorny and uphill. The Church and Our Lady have no need of falsehoods.
Jesus says: "The truth will make you free" (Din 8,32).
"I am the way and the truth and the life" (Jn 14,6) "For this
I was born, and for this I have come into the world to bear witness to
the truth. Every one who is of the truth, hears my voice" (Jn
18,37). For even a short description of the falsehoods about Medjugorje
we would need 200 pages, but for now all I will give is this short
summary without a scientific approach. I am somewhat uneasy because
of the fact that in some statements my name is in the forefront, yet from
the beginning of the "apparitions" I have been in the center of the events
due to my episcopal position and duties. I am sorry as well for having
to mention some "unpleasant things", but without them the arguments lose
their strength. However, the most unpleasant things will be left
2. A characteristic attitude: Marina B., a tourist guide for
Atlas travel, brought a priest from Panama to my office in August 1989.
His name: Presbitero Rodriguez Teofilo, pastor of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes.
With him came Carmen Cecilia Capriles - a journalist, Gerente General of
the IATA agency, and Averrida Alberto Navarro, Apartado 1344 zona 7, Panama.
Marina presented herself as a tour-guide, translator for English and a
convert of Medjugorje. The priest asked me for the reasons why I
do not believe in the "apparitions". I told him that I have at least
20 reasons not to believe, of which only one is necessary for those who
are sober and well instructed in the faith to come to the conclusion that
the apparitions are not of the supernatural. He asked me to please
tell him at least one reason. I told him about the case of the ex-franciscan
priest Ivica Vego. Due to his disobedience, by an order of the Holy
father the Pope, he was thrown out of his franciscan religious order OFM
by his General, dispensed from his vows and suspended "a divinis".
He did not obey this order and he continued to celebrate Mass, distribute
the sacraments and pass the time with his mistress. It is unpleasant
to write about this, yet it is necessary in order to see who Our Lady is
speaking of. According to the diary of Vicka and the statements of
the "seers", Our Lady mentioned 13 times that he is innocent and that the
bishop is wrong. When his mistress, sister Leopolda, a nun, became
pregnant, both of them left Medjugorje and the religious life and began
to live together near Medjugorje where their child was born. Now
they have two children. His prayerbook is still sold in Medjugorje
and beyond in hundreds of thousands of copies.
I asked Marina to translate this in English. Marina cannot be blamed
for having fallen into a community which is concealing the truth.
She spontaneously responded according to the practice in Medjugorje:
"Do we have to tell them these ugly things?" I responded by saying
that if you had not held back and covered these "ugly events" these people
from Panama would have found out earlier and they would not have had to
travel to Medjugorje for nothing. It is an injustice and a sin to
hide this truth, even though it be unpleasant, it must be said.
The Marian theologian Rene Laurentin behaves in the same manner.
He came to visit me around Christmas 1983, and I offered him dinner.
He asked me why I did not believe in the apparitions. I told him
that according to the diary of Vicka and the words of the other "seers"
this 'Lady' has been speaking against the bishop. Laurentin quickly
"Don't publish that, because there are many pilgrims and
converts there." I was scandalized by this statement of this
well known Mariologist! This has remained Laurentin's position: to
hide the truth, and defend falsehoods. He has written around
ten books on the topic of Medjugorje and in almost all of them, the truth
and bishop Zanic are under fire. He knows well what people like to
hear. Therefore, it was relatively easy for him to find those who
would believe him. "A veritate quidam auditum avertent, ad fabulas
autem convertentur" - They will turn away from listening to the truth and
wander into myths (2 Tim 4:4). The "seers" and defenders of
Medjugorje led by Laurentin, from the very outset have seen that the modern
believer in a communist country very quickly believes in everything "miraculous",
in apparent miraculous healings and apparent messages from "Our Lady".
The main players on which Medjugorje rests are retired archbishop F.
Franic, R. Laurentin, Lj. Rupcic OFM, Amorth, Rastrelli S.J., and some
franciscans and charismatics from all over the world. Many books
have been quickly published, as well as articles, brochures, films and
souvenirs. On the move are tourist agencies, pilgrimages, prayer
books written by two franciscans Vego and Prusina who were thrown out of
the OFM Order, published in many languages in 600,000 copies, fanatical
prayer groups that are inspired by the apparent messages of Our Lady and
the great motivator of all - money. No one even mentions that which
throws doubt on the "apparitions". The bishop has been warning everyone,
but the 'machinery' has been breaking forward. There have been mentioned
50 miraculous healings, then 150, 200, 300 and so on. Laurentin chose
56 dossiers and sent them to the "Bureau medical de Lourdes". Dr.
Mangiapan responded in their bulletin Avril/84, that these dossiers have
no practical value, and they cannot be used or considered as serious proofs
of the apparitions in Medjugorje. Much has been written about the
healing of Diane Basile. I sent the dossier to Dr. Mangiapan who
studied the case and then took the position: "opinion plus que reservee".
It is a case of sclerosis multiplex. More will be written about this
later in a book.
The credibility of the "seers" - Mirjana Dragicevic. One month
after the beginning of the "apparitions" I went to Medjugorje to question
the "seers". I asked each of them to take an oath on the cross and
demanded that they must speak the truth. (This conversation and oath
was recorded on tape). The first one was Mirjana: "We went
to look for our sheep when at once..." (The associate pastor in the parish
interrupted and told me that they actually went out to smoke, which they
hid from their parents). "Wait a minute Mirjana, you're under oath.
Did you go out to look for your sheep?" She put her hand over her
mouth, "forgive me, we went out to smoke." She then showed me the
watch on which the "miracle" occurred because the hands of the watch had
gone haywire. I took the watch to a watch expert who said that the
watch had certainly fallen and become disordered. After bringing
the watch back to her I told her not to mention that a miracle occurred.
Yet, on cassettes taped later on, she went on to speak of how a miracle
occurred with the watch and that initially they had gone out to search
for their sheep.
Later on, she spoke that Our Lady said that all faiths are equal.
How much can we believe Mirjana?
Vicka Ivankovic is the main "seer" from the beginning and through her
the creator of Medjugorje, Rev. Tomislav Vlasic OFM, has launched the main
portion of falsehoods regarding Medjugorje. He presented himself
to the Pope in a letter May 13, 1984 as follows: "I am Rev. Tomislav
Vlasic, the one according to Divine Providence who guides the seers of
Medjugorje." It would have been better for him that he withdrew himself
into the 'desert' and that he remained silent, because his past speaks
enough about him. Vicka spoke and wrote much, and in so doing she
fell into many contradictions. Prof. Nikola Bulat, a member of the
first commission, questioned her and wrote a 60 page study on her.
He numbered all the illogicalities and falsehoods of her diary. Here
I will only mention the bloody handkerchief. Word spread around
that there was a certain taxi driver who came across a man who was bloody
all over. This man gave this taxi driver a bloodied handkerchief
and he told him to: "throw this in the river". The driver went
on and then he came across a woman in black. She stopped him and
asked him to give her a handkerchief. He gave her his own, but she
said: "not that one but the bloody handkerchief." He gave her
the handkerchief she wanted and she then said: "If you had thrown
it into the river the end of the world would have occurred now."
Vicka Ivankovic wrote in her diary that they asked Our Lady if this event
was true and she said that it was, and along with this, "that man covered,
with blood was my son Jesus, and I (Our Lady) was that woman in black."
What kind of theology is this? From this it appears that Jesus wants
to destroy the world if a handkerchief is thrown into a river and it's
Our Lady who saves the world!
On the 14th of January 1982, Vicka, Marija and little Jakov came to
visit me. Vicka began to speak quite nervously because she was speaking
falsehoods. She said: "Our Lady sent us to you to tell you
that you are too harsh with the franciscans..." In what way?
"We don't know!" Two franciscan chaplains in Mostar, Ivica Vego and
Ivan Prusina, which the bishop sought to remove from Mostar because of
disorder and disobedience towards the faithful of the newly established
cathedral-parish in Mostar, defended themselves before their superiors
by saying that they would not leave Mostar because Our Lady through Vicka,
told them not to leave. This was mentioned to me by a member of the
franciscan Provincial council. I asked Vicka at our meeting:
"Did Our Lady mention anything about the Mostar chaplains, Vego and Prusina?"
"She did not, we don't know them" responded all three. Our conversation
lasted 30 minutes and I taped all of it. I repeated the question
of the chaplains of Mostar several times and they always responded:
"We don't know them." Later on, I found from Vicka's diary that they
knew the chaplains very well. It was clear to me that they were lying,
yet I did not want to mention this to them in order to maintain their confidence
during our conversations.
On the 4th of April 1982, Vicka and Jakov came to visit me "sent by
Our Lady". The chaplains of Mostar, Vego and Prusina were thrown
out of the franciscan Order OFM in January of that year by the superiors
of their Order. Many followers of Medjugorje and "Our Lady" defended
the expelled chaplains. During our conversation Vicka very excitedly
began: "The last time we were with you we didn't tell you everything
and for this reason Our Lady scolded us. We spoke of many things
and therefore we forgot..." "What did you forget?" "Our Lady
told us to tell you that those chaplains Vego and Prusina are priests and
therefore they can celebrate Mass just as other priests." "Wait a
minute. Did Our Lady tell you this before our last meeting?"
"Yes, that's why she sent us to you. Last time I spoke of many other
things and I forgot to mention this." During that previous meeting
I asked her directly several times if Our Lady mentioned anything about
the two chaplains. It was clear to me that Vicka was lying and this
was proof enough for me not to trust her statements. Marija and Jakov
also participated in this lie.
Towards the end of January 1983, Rev. Grafenauer, a jesuit priest,
came to me with the intention of searching out the phenomenon of Medjugorje.
He listened to 20 cassettes and after having listened to them he said that
he would not go to Medjugorje because he concluded that Our Lady is not
there. Upon my insistence he went to Medjugorje and after a few days
he came back as a "convert" of Rev. Vlasic. He brought some documents,
threw them on the table and said: "Here's what Our Lady wishes to
tell you!" I understood this as a plot to overthrow the bishop with
the help of Our Lady. The documents he brought were a compilation
of Vicka's diary, the parish chronicle and hand written documents.
For this reason it is difficult to establish where they were first written.
Vicka and those who defend Medjugorje hid this from the bishop for more
than a year. Here are a few quotes:
Dec 19, 1981. "Our Lady said that the bishop is to blame for the
disorder in Herzegovina. She also said that Rev. Ivica Vego is not
to blame, yet that the bishop has all authority. Our Lady said that
he (Vego) remain in Mostar and not leave.
January 3, 1982. All the "seers" together asked Our Lady about Rev.
Ivica Vego. Our Lady answered: "Ivica is innocent. If
they throw him out of the franciscan Order, may he remain courageous...
Ivica is innocent." Our Lady repeated this three times.
January 11, 1982. We asked again about the two chaplains of Mostar
and Our Lady repeated twice that which she mentioned earlier regarding
them. Note: January 14, 1982 Vicka was at the Chancery office
with the bishop and at that meeting she mentioned that she did not know
January 20, 1982. The children asked what Rev. Ivica Vego and Rev.
Ivan Prusina were to do now that they were thrown out of the Order.
Our Lady answered: "They are innocent. The bishop was harsh
in his decision. They can stay."
April 15, 1982. Vicka asked Our Lady a question. "Could you
generally tell me everything about Ivica Vego and Ivan Prusina?"
Our Lady smiled at the first and then she said: "They are innocent."
She repeated twice that: "The bishop has made a mistake... let them
remain in Mostar... they can say mass sometimes but may they be careful
to stay away from attention until things calm down. They have no
April 16, 1982. Yesterday while we were with Our Lady we asked her
if we could pray an Our Father for them (Vego and Prusina). She answered
immediately: "Yes you can", and she prayed with them. When
we finished the prayer she smiled and said to me: "Those two are
constantly on your mind." I answered: "You're right".
April 26, 1982. Our Lady: "The bishop has no real love of God
in his heart. Regarding the bishop, may Ivica and Ivan remain calm.
What the bishop is doing is contrary to the will of God, yet he can do
as he pleases, but one day justice as you have never seen shall be revealed."
Vicka never denied that Our Lady said these things or that she wrote
these things down in her diary. The assurance and authenticity of
this can be best confirmed by a cassette taped by Rev. Grafenauer during
his talks with Vicka and Marija. He left taped copies of the cassette
in the parish of Medjugorje, with the bishop and he left one with the Bishop's
Conference in Zagreb. The cassette should be heard!
conversation with Vicka: "The bishop has the duty to judge whether
or not this is Our Lady..." said Rev. Grafenauer.
can judge as he wants, but I know it's Our Lady.
Graf: The Church says that those who are confident in themselves,
that this itself is a sign that Our Lady is not in question here.
those who are doubtful remain doubtful, I'm not.
is not a good sign... you once told the bishop that he should listen more
to Our Lady than to the Pope.
means that the bishop should listen to you more than to the Pope.
the bishop doesn't know what the phenomenon is and perhaps it is not Our
it is Our Lady.
told the bishop that he is to blame and that those two (Vego and Prusina)
are innocent and that they can perform their priestly duties.
they hear confession? Did Our Lady mention this?
Graf: If Our
Lady said this and the Pope says that they cannot...
Pope can say what he wants, I'm telling it as it is!
this is how one can come to the conclusion that this is not Our Lady...
when the Pope says no, they cannot celebrate Mass, and they cannot hear
confessions, and then on the other hand, Our Lady says they can do both,
this cannot be!
Vicka: I know
what is right (What Our Lady said).
cannot be true. I would put my hand into fire to testify that this
is not Our Lady speaking. When a person has a greater gift there
also exists a greater danger that the devil could be at work upon this
What a degrading
humiliation of Our Lady! From these statements she is destroying
obedience in the Church, obedience to the bishop, to the heads of the OFM
Order, and to the Holy father. She is defending Vego!
The apparition in Cerno. Cerno is a village not far away from
Medjugorje. The eighth day after the beginning of the apparitions
in Medjugorje there was an "apparition" near Cerno. The "seers" told
Rev. Jozo Zovko, the pastor of Medjugorje at the time, of this happening
the evening of the event. They mentioned that Our Lady said four
or five times that she would appear three more days, that is, on July 1,
2, and 3rd. This was taped on cassette and publicized by Rev. Ivo
Sivric OFM. The cassette was reproduced. A few years later
Rev. Janko Bubalo published a book titled: A thousand meetings
with Our Lady. This is a book of conversations with Vicka.
Vicka does not mention this event, therefore Rev. Bubalo asked whether
or not Our Lady said "only three more days". Vicka responded that
she does not remember!
It is evident that Vicka is speaking falsehoods and that Our Lady cannot
say that which Vicka is saying. Vicka is fabricating these statements.
Should this remain unknown to the rest of the world? Evil (such as
speaking falsehoods about Our Lady) must not be done in order to obtain
a good (such as pilgrimages, prayers, etc.)
"Seer" Marija Pavlovic. Here is a written account of the taped
conversation between Rev. Grafenauer and Marija:
Our Lady say that the bishop is to blame?
she say that Vego and Prusina were not to blame?
Our Lady says that the bishop is to blame this immediately appears suspicious
and we could conclude that this is not Our Lady speaking. The seers
are apparently spreading word around that the bishop is to blame.
Lady told us this.
Archbishop F. Franic, Laurentin and many others know all this, yet they
remain silent. What kind of theology can accept these statements
by Our Lady through the declarations of the "seers" that their Teacher,
Pastor and Liturgist - the bishop, who has legally received his duty from
Christ through the Church, has no love of God in his heart, that he is
declared a sinner throughout the world, that he should convert and that
prayers will be said in Medjugorje for this intention? There were
even statements made that Jesus himself would pray for the bishop so that
the bishop would believe and then take better action in favor of the events
in Medjugorje. To say that the bishop is to wait for Our Lady's judgment
is an absurdity. It is an offense against Our Lady the Mother of
the Church. God knows that I am not without sin, and that Our Lady
could criticize me, yet God alone is the judge. I have never been
reprimanded or warned by the Holy See for my episcopal service.
The creator of Medjugorje, Rev. Tomislav Vlasic, amongst other things
has published and distributed in many languages a seventeen page booklet
titled: A calling in the Marian year, Milano, March 25 1988.
This regards the founding of a prayer group for young men and women (from
Medjugorje) who would live together (Parma, Italy - something which has
been unheard of in the history of the Church!) They would be the
ones who would save the world. Our Lady apparently gave Rev. Vlasic
and Agnes Heupel (a German woman supposedly healed in Medjugorje) the inspiration
to establish and to lead this community together in a manner similar to
saints Francis and Clare, as described by Vlasic. In order for this
action to succeed, Rev. Vlasic asked Marija to add "her witnessing" on
three pages. She is a member of this community and on April 21, 1988
she wrote: "Sento il bisogno..." - I feel the need... As can
be concluded, Our Lady has given a set program to this community of the
"Queen of Peace" and she leads this community through Rev. Vlasic and Agnes
who give messages to the community. "I have been in the community
for a month and a half. I have apparitions and Our Lady leads me
in the mystery of suffering which is the foundation of this community.
I must write down everything and publish this once Our Lady tells me to.
I have understood God's plan which he began through Mary in the parish
of Medjugorje." This quote is taken from pages 15 and 16 of Rev.
T. Vlasic's text. The defenders of Medjugorje quickly understood
that this community of young men and women living, sleeping, working and
praying together in the same house would eventually destroy themselves
and Medjugorje. Therefore, they sent their Provincial, Rev. Jozo
Vasilj to Parma. He went together with the bishop of Parma, Msgr.
B. Cochi and Rev. T. Vlasic to the Congregation in Rome. They were
told there that the Church cannot allow such a community to exist and then
Rev. T. Vlasic was ordered to dissolve the community and to return to Herzegovina.
Vlasic did not obey immediately, yet he returned later. This is what
was explained to me by Rev. Jozo Vasilj regarding the community.
The same Marija Pavlovic made another public declaration on the 11th
of July 1988. On a single sheet of paper, distributed in the same
manner as the earlier statement, she mentioned: "I feel a moral
obligation to declare before God, Our Lady (the Madonna), and the Church...
from the text of A calling... it appears as if I gave Our Lady's
answer to the question put forward by Rev. T. Vlasic, etc. I now
declare that I never sought from Our Lady (the Madonna) a confirmation
of the work of Rev. Vlasic and Agnes Heupel... my first declaration...
does not correspond to the truth. Rev. Vlasic suggested to
me a few times (N.B.) that I as one of the "seers" should write a declaration
which the world expects... Everything I said does not correspond to
the truth. This I declare before the Blessed Sacrament." Marija
Marija does not deny that she gave her first statement. Rev.
T. Vlasic sought statements from her many times and this obviously turns
out to be manipulating with one of the "seers". So we can conclude
that Marija has consciously spoken falsehoods on the first or second occasion.
She has lied and this she attributes to Our Lady. It is evident that
she (Marija) is a toy in Rev. Vlasic's hands. This was clear to me
even earlier yet up till now, I didn't have material proof to back this
up. Rev. T. Vlasic has manipulated with all the "seers" in the same
fashion. Under this type of manipulation Marija saw how Our Lady
cried when someone mentioned the bishop at a prayer meeting: "From
Our Lady's eye flowed forth a great tear. The tear ran down her face
and disappeared into a cloud under her feet. Our Lady began to cry
and she ascended to heaven crying" (Aug. 22, 1984). An obvious fabrication
by Rev. T. Vlasic intended to frighten the bishop.
Why don't the defenders of Medjugorje mention these two statements of Marija?
Must these "ugly" things be hidden from the world because there are many
"conversions" in Medjugorje? (Laurentin). Laurentin writes
in his book Dernieres Nouvelles 3, on page 27, that a certain monsignor
asked Marija to pray for a message from Our Lady for his priests.
Marija answered: "Our Lady said that they should read Laurentin's
book and spread it around"!
It is a terrible sin to attribute one's own lies to Our Lady. When
the world learns of this, who will believe them anymore? They have
been discredited. No one can destroy this material evidence.
It will be reproduced and spread by word of mouth. I know well that
there are many who disregard such material. They accept the events
of Medjugorje irrationally, with great emotion and with personal interests.
They are blind, but these documents will remain a part of the history of
the Church and of Mariology.
The "seer" Ivan Dragicevic. Regarding the "great sign", Vicka
mentions this 13 times in the diaries, 14 times it is mentioned in the
Parish chronicle, 52 times on the cassettes, and innumerous times in talks
with the bishop. In the spring of 1982, I asked the "seers" to write
everything they knew about the sign without making the "secret" public.
The way I suggested they do it was to write down information on paper in
duplicate. Then this would be sealed in an envelope and a copy would
remain with them, and one with the bishop. When the "sign" occurs,
then we would open the envelopes and see whether or not the "sign" was
predicted. Rev. Tomislav Vlasic, pastor of Medjugorje at the time,
told the "seers" to say that Our Lady said not to write anything down for
nobody, and so they didn't. Ivan Dragicevic was in the franciscan
minor seminary at Visoko, Bosna at that time and he wasn't informed of
this on time. Two members of the first Commission, Dr. M. Zovkic
and Dr. Z. Puljic (now bishop of Dubrovnik), went to visit Ivan in Visoko.
They gave him a sheet of paper which was somewhat greenish in color with
questions typed out on it. Ivan wrote down the content of the "sign",
dated the document and signed it in their presence without a word or any
sign of fear. A few years later, Laurentin wrote that Ivan told him
personally that he wrote absolutely nothing down on that sheet of paper
and that he tricked the two members of the Commission. On March 7,
1985, three members of the Commission went to ask Ivan if what Laurentin
writes is true. Ivan said it was true and that they could freely
go ahead and open the envelope in the chancery office because in it they
will only find a white sheet of paper. They came back to Mostar where
the Commission was having a meeting and before all the members, they opened
the envelope. In the envelope on a greenish sheet of paper they found
written the content of the sign: Our Lady said that she would leave
a sign. The content of this sign I reveal to your trust. The
sign is that there will be a great shrine in Medjugorje in honor of my
apparitions, a shrine to my image. When will this occur? The
sign will occur in June.
Dated: May 9, 1982.
Seer: Ivan Dragicevic. After
having heard this lie, the members of the first Commission wanted to end
all further work, yet they stayed on. Within a few days of this event
Rev. Slavko Barbaric OFM, took the "seers" somewhere and instructed them
all, including Ivan, to write a declaration that Ivan did not disclose
Ivan sent messages from Our Lady to the bishop. On April 24, 1984
Our Lady said the following regarding the bishop: "My son Jesus is
praying for him so that he (the bishop) would believe and therefore take
better action in favor of Medjugorje." She added: "How would
he react if my son were to appear on earth? Would he then believe?"
Regarding the Commission, Our Lady says only the following: "Pray,
pray, pray! Think over and live the messages I have given and you
will see why I have come." Ivan Dragicevic, Medjugorje.
"Tell the bishop that I seek a quick conversion from him towards the
happenings in Medjugorje before it's too late. May he accept these
events with plenty of love, understanding and great responsibility.
I want him to avoid creating conflicts between priests and to stop publicizing
their negative behaviors. The Holy father has given all bishops the
duty to fulfill certain tasks in their respective dioceses. Among
these, bishops are to solve problems and arguments. The bishop is
the spiritual father of all the parishes in Herzegovina. For this
reason I seek his conversion towards these events. I am sending my
second-last warning. If what I seek does not come about, my judgment
and the judgment of my Son await the bishop. This means that he has
not found the way to my Son Jesus." Our Lady told me to give you
Bijakovici June 21, 1983.
Rev. Tomislav Vlasic
brought this document to me, which he more than likely wrote himself in
a moment of exaltation.
18. Ivan kept his own diary of the apparitions for a couple of
years. This has not been revealed as Vicka's has not, nor the writings
of the others. These are original fonts of the events, yet they are
full of naive statements, clear falsehoods and absurdities. They
are good proof of the fact that the "seers" do not see Our Lady or receive
messages from her. These messages were written by someone else and
they were given to Ivan for him to sign as his own. When Rev. Grafenauer
brought excerpts from Vicka's diary to me, I later on asked Vicka to bring
her diary to me. She wrote to me on May 7, 1983: "I have found
out that excerpts from my diary are being distributed..." This was
a very important point which the Commission accepted as good argument that
the diary was written by Vicka herself or that she considered it her own.
Later on, Rev. T. Vlasic, also came to this conclusion, and therefore in
1984, he declared before the Commission and myself, that Vicka did not
write that letter to me but rather, that a franciscan did (probably Vlasic
himself) and that he gave it to her to sign! There are many similar
examples of manipulation, but none have such clear cut evidence as this.
Secrets and secrecy. From the beginning of the "apparitions",
the "seers", (obviously having been instructed in order to escape being
controlled) have said that "Our Lady" speaks differently to each of them.
When the "secrets" were fabricated, each was to have his/her own (60 in
total) and no one was to reveal them to anyone. Mirjana and Ivanka
received a letter from Our Lady which nobody was to read. In the
beginning there were no moments of ecstasy nor avoiding the community.
They spoke publicly and were spoken to. They only avoided the Commission.
After having admitted that they were consulted, they asked "Our Lady" if
they could write down the content of the "great sign" on paper and seal
it in an envelope. "Our Lady" responded: NO! Ivan though,
wrote down the sign and later on he said (which has been taped as well)
that "Our Lady" did not scold him for doing this. The secrets were
to be given to a priest (a franciscan). Why were they not given to
the Commission, the bishop, or to the Pope? In the first months they
often said that the "great sign" would come: very soon, quickly,
and so on... When the first year ended, they changed their tone.
Vicka wrote "Our Lady's life" for a year and a half, and this is a great
secret which shall be published "when Our Lady permits." The Commission
asked for this diary about Our Lady, yet "Our Lady" did not comply with
their demand. Can the Commission just see the diary without taking
it or opening it? No it cannot! This turns out to be a plot
to make fools out of all those who are naive enough to wait for this sign
until the end of the world. I have already declared earlier and now
I repeat the same declaration that if Our Lady leaves a sign which the
"seers" are speaking of, I'll make a pilgrimage from Mostar to Medjugorje
(30 km) on my knees and beg the franciscans and the "seers" for forgiveness.
20. Slander against the bishop. "The bishop also believed
in the beginning". This is not true! While the communists were
persecuting the franciscans, the "seers" and pilgrims, I defended all of
them and therefore I did not change my mind "because of threats by the
Republic commission or because the diocesan priests sought this from me."
This is simply fabricated slander by many. While I was publicly defending
the imprisoned franciscans, Rev. Jozo Zovko said during the investigations
that the bishop is a 'wolf' and a 'hypocrite'. These are the exact
words written down in his sentence. Zovko's lawyer, Vukovic, asked
through a colleague what I had done to Zovko to deserve such heavy accusations.
Rev. T. Vlasic often put "Our Lady's" words into the mouths of the "seers",
such as "Our Lady's" affirmation that satan (in this case the bishop) is
out to destroy her plan. He wrote this more clearly in a letter to
friends in the Vatican. I complained about this accusation that he
has called the bishop satan, in front of Vlasic and his Provincial.
He did not deny my objection but rather, he justified his words by saying
that he wrote this while under the influence of extreme emotion.
A person can say something while under emotion, but this cannot be written
down and translated into foreign languages.
By their fruits. The most common argument of the defenders of
Medjugorje is that the fruits of the events in Medjugorje prove that Our
Lady is appearing there. Those who know a bit more than the pilgrims
who come to Medjugorje say: the fruits of the staunchest defenders
of Medjugorje show that they themselves do not believe in the apparitions.
If all the "ugly things" could be made public then surely the answer would
be clearly negative to everyone. Yet, Laurentin, Rupcic, Vlasic,
Barbaric and others meticulously hide the truth. If the defenders
of Medjugorje come across someone who is skeptical of the apparitions,
they quickly isolate this person, accuse him of something or declare him
mad (J.L. Martin). The majority of the pious public has naively fallen
victim of the great propaganda, the talk of the apparitions and healings.
These people themselves have become the greatest propaganda for the events.
They do not even stop to think that the truth has been hidden by deliberate
falsehoods. They do not know that not one miraculous healing has
occurred that could have been verified by competent experts and institutions
such as the "Bureau medical de Lourdes". No one knows of any healed
from Herzegovina. Everyone knows that little Daniel, old Jozo Vasilj,
Venka Brajcic and others cited in the first books about Medjugorje were
Promises of healings are characteristic of the events. When they
don't occur as promised, then they are denied because they were never taped
or written down on paper. There have been many promises that have
ended tragically. What interests us is whether or not "Our Lady"
is giving these promises, or whether or not they are thought up by the
"seers". The tragic end of Marko Blazevic as described by the retired
archbishop of Belgrade, Msgr. Turk, says much regarding "promises" of healing.
The archbishop writes May 22, 1984, that he was received as a patient of
the Cardiology clinic at the Belgrade hospital. The archbishop received
the bed that was previously occupied by Marko Blazevic of Buna, near Mostar,
who was to go in for an operation. Mr. Blazevic told the archbishop
and many other patients, doctors and hospital staff that Our Lady had promised,
through the "seers", that the operation would succeed. A nun who
assisted in the operating room, wrote to me later that Blazevic's wife
and his daughter spoke to her with a fanatical type of faith in "Our Lady's
promise". A certain doctor was also convinced in this promise.
The patient did not wake up after the operation. During the operation,
a group of patients prayed fervently outside the doors of the operating
room. Many spoke of this incident which left many very disappointed
and ashamed before people of other faiths and atheists. Rev. T. Vlasic,
in his typical fashion of hiding the truth, succeeding in convincing the
daughter of the late Mr. Blazevic, to go to the bishop to tell him that
Our Lady only told them to pray, not that she promised them that the operation
would succeed!!! I told her not to make a liar out of her late father
or liars of the others to whom he spoke to.
23. The franciscan and diocesan clergy. The relations between
the franciscan and diocesan clergy regarding pastoral duties in the parishes
of Herzegovina were established by a Decision of the Holy See in 1899 by
the suggestions of the franciscans themselves and then bishop Paskal Buconjic
OFM. According to this Decision the parishes were to be divided equally
into two groups of 50% of the faithful between the clergy. Since
there were no diocesan clergy at the time, the parishes that rightfully
belonged to them were in 1923 left to the franciscans "ad nutum S. Sedis".
Bishop Cule, the first diocesan bishop of Mostar, in 1948 was sentenced
to 11 years and 6 months in jail. He served eight and a half years
of this sentence before being released. After his jail term the number
of diocesan clergy began to rise. In 1968, the Holy See ordered the
franciscans to hand over five parishes to the diocesan clergy. They
barely gave two parishes. In 1975 after many years of talks and consultations
a Decree of the Holy See was issued regarding the division of parishes
in Herzegovina. The franciscans publicly and collectively denounced
this Decree even though they administer over 80 % of the faithful in the
diocese of Mostar. In 1976, due to disobedience, the hierarchy of
the franciscan Province along with then Provincial Silic, lost their authority
and since then, the Province has been without its independence, and the
General of the Order rules directly over the Province "ad instar".
Another penalty was that in 1979, the franciscans from Herzegovina were
not allowed to participate in the election of the General. The first
point mentioned by the new General of the Order to his brothers in Herzegovina
was: 'the development or creation of obedience to, and cooperation
with the bishop in Herzegovina'. Disobedience prevails today as before,
and "Our Lady" from the beginning has been defending disobedient franciscans.
Vicka writes in her diary of the apparitions, that Our Lady said that the
bishop is to blame for all the disorder in Herzegovina. (See no.
9). This is repeated many times. The franciscans themselves
are divided. The franciscan opposition that defends Medjugorje succeeded
in toppling their own "ad instar" superiors that developed good relations
with the bishop, and they installed a group that defends Medjugorje.
The new Provincial "ad instar", Rev. Jozo Vasilj, did not succeed in creating
peace and order amongst his brothers so he escaped to the missions in Zaire
and won't come back! (Fruits?!) He has been replaced by the
Vice Provincial and the General has called for obedience from all or else
the Province shall be abolished. "It is time that everyone take their
own personal responsibility before judicial sanctions are made or the Province
is abolished." (Acta Ordinis F.M. fasc. 1/89). The Province
will not receive its own hierarchy until the Decree is completed.
Three visitors of the OFM Order who came to the Province in 1988, said
that there is not one franciscan in the Province who is in favor of completing
the Decree. This opinion is exaggerated yet still important.
This is only a portion of the "good fruits" of the events. The
pilgrims, though, only know that the bishop "hates the franciscans".
There are a good number of franciscans in the Province who cooperate well
with the bishop and these franciscans do not believe in the apparitions
either. Some of them have never set foot in Medjugorje.
A number of good franciscans have begged me to write something so that
together, we could start a battle against the lies of Medjugorje because
they believe that "God will punish us franciscans severely because we have
spread lies and falsehoods throughout the world and made money on them".
Of the one hundred diocesan priests in the dioceses of Herzegovina, not
one believes in the apparitions. Of the 42 bishops of Yugoslavia
(ordinaries, auxiliaries and retired), only one has been outspoken in declaring
his belief and has defended the events. Of the 15 members of the
first Commission, which was formed by the bishop of Mostar with the help
of there(?) bishops and provincials from Yugoslavia, 11 of the members
said that there is nothing supernatural in the events of Medjugorje, 2
(franciscans) claimed that the apparitions are authentic, 1 member said
that there was something "in nucleo" (in the beginning) and 1 abstained.
That which the Commission worked on for three years, the Holy See (contrary
to what has been spread by the defenders of Medjugorje) never asked for,
or saw, or gave a judgment of. Neither did the Holy See abandon the
From the beginning of the events I warned the franciscans that they
must wait for the judgment of the Church, so that together we can search
for the truth. The leaders of the events though, had as their aim
to bring the masses as soon as possible to Medjugorje, obtain a lot of
money for propaganda and use Our Lady for their battle against the bishop.
They fabricated miracles regarding the sun. Many pilgrims damaged
their eyes from staring into the sun. They cited 50, 150, 200 and
300 healings and they spoke of all sorts of things seeing that the faithful
believed everything they said, especially when archbishop F. Franic and
Laurentin were there to back them up. The faithful in Medjugorje
look upon the events as they are instructed, as is the case in all other
places of apparitions be they true or false. The marveling and excitement
here has been regarded at times as leading to great blindness and fanaticism.
The Italians know well the "story" of Gigliole Ebe Giorgini, the foundress
of the false order of "Pia Opera di Gesu Misericordioso". Separated
and remarried civilly, she spent time doing quackery. She gathered
young women for their order and she received and earned great amounts of
money. She had two priests in her service and many houses.
She led a double life and had false stigmata which she made herself.
Her "sisters" followed her fanatically and they called her Mamma Ebe.
She had male vocations as well, but some who left her later on, declared
that she led an immoral life. She had many jewels and gold, two yachts,
32 furs, etc. Many in the Church objected to her way of life, while
others fanatically defended her, citing good fruits. She even received
praise from two bishops. Twice during the night police raided her
room in the mother house and they found her in bed with one of her seminarians.
A scandal broke out and she was sentenced twice to many years in prison
along with a franciscan who was her confessor. The press wrote for
years about this scandal. An illicit film was made as well, yet her
followers fanatically and blindly defended her even when the order fell
apart. According to them, she was a saint who attracted many vocations
and this was argument enough for many that from the "fruits" she was obviously
inspired by God! Religious blindness is extremely hard to cure.
Fanaticism brought the beginning of the heresies in the church, today it's
the foundation of sects.
The Protestant pastor Rev. Jim Jones developed a great charitable organization
in southern Chicago and he gathered great sums of money and many fanatical
followers of his sect. In order to be freer in their work, about
1000 of them, went to Guyana, South America where they established "Jonestown"
as their new home. They established a dictatorship and fanatical
obedience to their "Messiah". Much was written about terrible things
that went on, about the immorality of Jones and how some tried to escape
the community but were caught and killed. Then they were without
money. Rumors spread that the American army would intervene, so Jones
ordered them to retreat to the jungle. Seeing no way out, he called
on everyone to give up their lives in order to travel to eternity.
Over 900 of them came with cups to a huge pot in order to drink poison
and then fell dead. What gave them the strength to commit suicide?
Fanaticism! Yet when the Christian faithful hear of apparitions and
miracles they easily accept these events as facts without being at all
critical of the events. They are then caught up in their blindness
and fanaticism. Whatever is spoken is believed automatically, such
as, that ordinary rosaries in Medjugorje turn to gold! And people
actually believe this!
This blindness towards the events in Medjugorje has also caught some
priests and bishops. Many priests from Italy, (such as Amorth, Rostral
and others), easily could have heard that the bishop, the Commission, the
bishops of Yugoslavia, a portion of the franciscans and all the diocesan
priests do not believe in the events. Yet, they avoided the truth,
even though I received everyone who inquired about the events and gave
them my time. I'm particularly surprised by the lack of collegiality
by some bishops. Nobody has to accept my judgment, but everyone is
obligated by conscience to study well the events of Medjugorje before taking
a portion, especially if that person has a position of authority in the
Church, as bishops do.
"What have they done to you Our Lady!" For nine years they have been
dragging you along as a tourist attraction. They have been speaking
with you whenever it pleased them, as if you were a bank teller.
They have fabricated messages, and they say that you come and appear there,
but beyond their own arguments they have nothing to prove that what they
say is true. The whole world is in expectation of a "great sign"
and the naive still wait and believe. Unfortunately this false sensation
will bring great disgrace and scandal upon the Church. Those who
lead the events are not converting even though the threat of the abolition
of the Province by the General hangs over them.
This is only a small compilation of that which I would like to write about.
Hopefully, I will have the opportunity to expand further, with precise
documentation and publish a book on these events.
There are many prayers and pious activities in Medjugorje. Some
say that there have been conversions as well. I have received indeed
many truly touching letters, and I feel sorry for those who will sooner
or later be disappointed. But there has also been fanaticism, superstition
and misinformation in the events of Medjugorje. I have also received
many rude accusations in the mail which I cannot mention, all in the name
of the "Queen of Peace". That which is positive in these events cannot
justify the falsehoods and lies that have been spread in order to win the
world over for God. Jesus said: "I have come into the world
to witness to the truth." The Church would easily be able to attract
the masses if it dropped the sixth commandment, if divorce were allowed,
if it let everyone believe and do what they wanted. But, Jesus went
on the cross for the truth, and the martyrs gave up their lives for the
truth. St. Paul writes to his faithful: "If anyone is preaching
to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed."
(Gal 1,9). Today, many prayer groups all over the world pray from
Rev. Ivica Vego's prayer book and meditate over the supposed messages of
Our Lady as it these things were more important than the Bible and the
teaching Magisterium of the Church. I do believe despite these events,
There is a big controversy in the Roman Catholic Church, but it is not so that all priest have sex-affairs
with little Choir- or Altarboys
God that there are known hetrosexal priests as well, and one of these
outstanding persons is father Jozo Zovko o.f.m., the curate in
Medjugorje when the apparitions of the Mother of God (known as the
Gospa started in June 1981. The Utmost Holy immediately recognized
the greatness of Father Jozo. Just a few moths after Her first
apparition, on October 21 1981 the Gospa said that this Franciscan Zovko is
was a Belgian Medjugorje-fan, called Mark Waterinckx, who started a
sleazy campaign about assumed sex affairs of Father Jozo. Waterinckx
was only based on hearsay about hetero sex-affairs with adult woman
only. Without knowing the reason why Jozo was suspended,. he published
about it in French, Italian, English, German, Dutch, Croatian. Claiming
he know all bout these suspensions of Jozo.
the motives for the sanctions against Zovko were not made public, we
must try to answer delicate questions. More interesting might be to
find an answer on what fuelled the Belgian Waterinckx to start such an
international hate campaign against Father Jozo.
Resulting in temporarily suspensions of clerical services by
bishop Zanic in 1989 and by bishop Peric in 1994. That Jozo has been
suspended only two times, can hardly be marked as sound reason to
proclaim him a sex maniac, as Waterinckx does. Recognized Saints as
Padre Pio were suspended many more times..
Before pointing at Father Jozo Zovko,
you must know that the Belgian Mr. Waterinckx was a real
Medjugorje-freak, who went no less than 24 times to this sanctuary near
Mostar to venerate the apparitions of the Gospa. He experienced there
a kind of collective psychosis and developed a fanatic faith, which
does not tolerate any contradiction. So you are warned. Waterinckx
lowered himself to coarse lies, manipulations and flinging mud at Jozo
The title of an anonym article about the Waterinckx Investigation on the website of the extreme conservative
Unity Publishing was The Saint Jozo Zovko And His Many Sex-Affairs
have to deal with evidence as: In 1986 already a Dutch business-man
who lived in Yugoslavia said to Mark Waterinckx that Jozo had a
special interest for beautiful ladies
As if this is a sin, and great secret. And who is that anonymous Dutch businessman? How he found out?
On the suspencion of Jozo in 1989 by bishop Zanic we read: Officially
it was not mentioned, but insiders do know. Yeah, guess who is this insider? Right! Mr. Waterinckx himself!
Bishop Peric himself spoke during a tape-recorded interview with Mark
Waterinckx on August 4 1997 about these 2 suspensions. We do not learn
what Peric said about the sexlife of Jozo, just that he later repeated
(his interview on tape) in letters to a Dutch villagepriest and
to the Rector of the Basilica National Shrine of Our Lady in
Washington and that as a result of these 2 last letters, it was
forbidden to Jozo Zovko even to enter the church.
that on October 15 1996 the bishop of Mostar had confirmed to Mark
Waterinckx by letter the suspensions of Frs. Jozo Zovko and Leonard
Orec and more smoke, but still no word about why Father Jozo was
article puts Waterinckx in a specialist-position with even more smoke.
In 1994 already Mgr. Peric had sent the declarata to Jozo himself
and warned all dioceses of Bosnia-Hercegovina and put the official
publication in his diocesan bulletin Crkva na Kamenu ( The Church
on the Rock).
Very interesting, but why?
The anonym article about Saint Jozo Zovko And His Many Sex-Affairs states that Jozo was
since 1984 Marks confessor.
At that time Mark was shocked and scandalized by such a slander.
But later more and more such rumours came to his ears.
So in the summer of 1989 an American woman came to Waterinckx and told him with all details how Jozo had
sexually assaulted her.
This American lived with three other girls in the parishhousing of Zovko in Tihaljina, a village 32 km from the
sanctuary in Medjugorje.
A rather safe place for girls, as most of the priest there are at least latent homosexual and heavy into penitention.
There is a local saying: If you like to suffer, go to Tihaljina.
Instead of informing the police about this assault, Waterinckx went the next day to Jozo to tell him what the American
woman told him.
Zovko denied everything but was pale and in a terrible state. he was terrified and lied 3
times about the girl.
More interesting is the statement that the Franciscan lived with 4 young girls (!) in his parish
According to the article one of those four stated that nothing had happened, but Mark was very worried about
So the next day Waterinckx decided to walk (partially barefoot) the 32 km. to Tihaljina.
he arrived, Jozo was cynical about the severe burns of Marks feet (
what resulted in 10 days of hospital) and since then Jozo will say
that Mark and all the girls and women who accuse him are crazy.
What else can you say on all this hearsay?
We wanna know facts, not whispering!
Mark Waterinckx however, did not helped the girl to legal action against the of rape accused priest, but told the
story to the curate of Medjugorje, but he seemed unconcerned.
concerning is the serious scandalizing of the secret of confession. The
unknown author of the article: But meanwhile the American girl had
told her nightmare to her confessor, the American Fr.
Filip Pavic, who also refused the girl to undertake legal action, but
contacted Waterinckx and told him that he had already heard different
similar accusations against Jozo earlier.
we are involted in sleazy accusations in a so called Jozos
sex-problem.Also the American Pavic really puzzled, refused to
undertake legal action. Instead he told another priest about what he
heard. who immediately shouted 2 times: He did it again! according to
this anonymous article.
Waterinxk continued to spread the rumors about Jozo. When Mark spoke later to Frs. Ljudevit Rupcic and Slavko
Barbaric and these 2 Franciscans seemed to be very embarrassed.
they just seem to be? Who wrote this article? What is the reason that
Waterinkcx refused to undertake legal. Why this raped American woman
did not undertake action against her assaulter? . The more as,
according to Mark Waterinkcx, there are many more Sex Problems in
is a big controversy around Fr. Jozo Zovko o.f.m. He was the curate in Medjugorje when the apparitions started
in June 1981. Already on October 21
1981 the Gospa said that Zovko is a
saint. But in reality this Franciscan
has been suspended already twice. A first time by bishop Zanic on August 23
1989(diocesan letter Nr. 622/89) and a second time by bishop Peric on June 14
1994 (diocesan letter Nr. 423/94).
Medjugorje-fans go crazy when they hear about these suspensions of their
saint, but nobody has the courage to put these two questions to Fr. Jozo
: 1- Is it true that you have been
suspended ? 2- For what reason have you been suspended ? Lets now try to
answer these delicate questions.
fact that Jozo has been suspended has already been published in many languages
i.e. french, italian, english, german, dutch in more than 10 occasions. Mark
Waterinckx, who went 24 times to Medjugorje, has this list. Even the French
priest and big promoter of Medjugorje, Fr. René Laurentin, wrote in his book
Dernières Nouvelles de Medjugorje The 15 of June 1996 on p.34 that, since the
motives for the severe sanctions against Zovko were not made public, it must be
serious. Also Fr. Slavko Barbaric (another Franciscan already declared saint
by the Gospa one day after his death !) confirmed in a tape-recorded interview
with Mark Waterinckx on August 8 1997 that Jozo was suspended twice.
Peric himself spoke during a tape-recorded interview with Mark Waterinckx on
August 4 1997 about these 2 suspensions, what he later repeated in letters to
the Dutch priest Fr. Rudo Franken on February 7 2000 (prot. 131/2000) and to
the Rector of the Basilica National Shrine of Our Lady in Washington, Mgr. Michael Bransfield on
November 18 2002 (prot. 1942/2002). As a result of these 2 last letters, it was
forbidden to Jozo Zovko even to enter the church. Already on October 15 1996
(prot. 1405/96) the bishop of Mostar had confirmed to Mark Waterinckx by letter
the suspensions of Frs. Jozo Zovko and Leonard Orec.
1994 already Mgr. Peric had sent the declarata to Jozo himself and warned all
dioceses of Bosnia-Hercegovina and put the official publication in his diocesan
bulletin Crkva na Kamenu ( The Church on the Rock)
question : Why has Jozo been suspended in 1989 by bishop Zanic ? Officially it
was not mentioned, but insiders do know. In 1986 already a dutch business-man
who lived in Yugoslavia said to Mark
Waterinckx that Jozo had a special interest for beautiful ladies
that time Mark was shocked and scandalized by such a slander . But later
more and more such rumours came to his ears. In the summer of 1989 an American
girl came to him and told him with all details how Jozo had sexually assaulted
her. Next day Mark went to Tihaljina to confront Jozo with this story. Zovko denied everything but was pale and in a
terrible state. He trembled and accused
his good friend Mark ( since 1984 he was Marks confessor) of bringing him in
such a situation while the church was full of pilgrims waiting for his service. He lied 3 times about the girl and let Anka
swear that nothing had happened. Anka was one of the 4 young girls (!) who
lived together with this Franciscan in that time in the parish of Tihaljina
Mark was very worried about Jozos
day, after praying in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Medjugorje, he decided
to walk (partially barefoot) the 32 km. to Tihaljina. But this time Jozo had
regained his composure. In spite of the severe burns of Marks feet ( what
resulted in 10 days of hospital) , Jozo was cynical and laughed at him. Since
then, Jozo will say that Mark and all the girls and women who accuse him are
crazy. When Mark told the whole story to the then curate of Medjugorje, Fr.
Leonard Orec, this collegue of Jozo seemed unconcerned. But meanwhile the
American girl had told her nightmare to her confessor, the American Fr. Filip Pavic.
Franciscan contacted Mark and told him that he had already heard different
similar accusations against Jozo earlier. Also Pavic was really puzzled and
told about Jozos sex-problem to Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic, who immediately
shouted 2 times : He did it AGAIN !
this Franciscan had already confronted Jozo with accusations from other women ,
but Zovko denied everything. When Mark spoke later to Frs. Ljudevit Rupcic and
Slavko Barbaric about Medjugorjes best kept secret , these 2 Franciscans
seemed to be very embarrassed with the whole problem around Jozo.
Peric told Mark (on tape-recorder) that since it was forbidden by bishop Zanic
in 19989 to Jozo to hear confessions and since Jozo still continued, that Jozo
was suspended latae sententiae (automatically) a divinis because of
Other Sex Problems in Medjugorje
Jozo Zovko is not the only Franciscan in Medjugorje having sex-problems. Fr. Tomislav
Vlasic ( the creator of Medjugorje, says bishop Zanic), had made Sister Rufina
( Manda Kozul) pregnant already in 1976. The child Toni was born in Germany on
January 25 1977.
when Mark Waterinckx, in an August 8 tape-recorded conversation with Fr. Slavko
Barbaric, spoke about the rebel-Franciscan Ivica Vego, suspended by the church
but supported by the Gospa, and said that this ex-Franciscan was now father of
4 children with an ex-nun Sr. Leopolda.
Slavko shouted : No! Five children already !!!
Pope Finally Launches Crackdown on World's Largest Illicit Catholic Shrine and Suspends "Dubious" Priest
The Pope has begun a crackdown on the worlds largest illicit Catholic
shrine by suspending the priest at the centre of claims that the
Virgin Mary has appeared more than 40,000 times.
Benedict XVI has authorised severe cautionary and disciplinary
measures against Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former spiritual
director to six children who said Our Lady was appearing to them at
Medjugorje in Bosnia.
The Franciscan priest has been suspended after he refused to cooperate
into claims of scandalous sexual immorality aggravated by mystical
He has also been accused of the diffusion of dubious doctrine,
manipulation of consciences, suspected mysticism and disobedience
towards legitimately issued orders, and is suspected of heresy and
Crackdown: Pope Benedict XVI has authorised 'severe cautionary and disciplinary measures' against Father Tomislav Vlasic
Father Vlasic was a central figure in promoting the apparitions that allegedly began in 1981 and continue to this day.
In 1984 he boasted to Pope John Paul II that he was the one who
through divine providence guides the seers of Medjugorje and the
visionaries even said that the Virgin had told them he was a living
But the Bosnian cleric later took a back seat when it emerged that he
had fathered a child with a nun called Sister Rufina, and that he
refused to leave his order to marry her but instead begged her not to
Father Vlasic then moved to Parma, Italy, where he set up a mixed male
and female religious community, called Queen of Peace, which was
dedicated to the Medjugorje apparitions.
Medjugorje has grown to become the most visited unauthorised Catholic
shrine in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of pilgrims a
year, including many from the UK and Ireland.
Manipulated? pilgrims pray in Medjugorje, Bosnia
But the local bishops are convinced the claims are bogus and in 2006 complained directly to Pope Benedict.
This led to a Vatican investigation which turned the spotlight on the role of Father Vlasic.
The priest has now been suspended by the Vaticans Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith after he refused to cooperate with the inquiry
into his conduct, instead justifying himself by citing his zealous
activity in initiating religious communities and building churches the
The decree confirming his suspension was signed with the Popes
approval by Cardinal William Levada, head of CDF, and Father Jose
Carballo, the Minister General of the Franciscan Minor Order.
It confines Father Vlasic to a Francisan monastery in Italy and bans
him from contact with the Queen of Peace community, or with his lawyers
without permission from his superior.
He is banned from making public appearances, preaching and hearing
confessions and he will be required to make a solemn profession of the
The Vatican has warned Father Vlasic that he will be excommunicated if he violates any of the prohibitions.
The action was taken earlier this year but was made public this week by
the Bishop of Mostar, Ratko Peric, at the request of the Vatican, to
make local people to be aware of the priests status.
Strong belief: About 20,000 pilgrims
at Medjugorje in 2001 celebrating the twentieth anniversary of when six
children said they had seen the virgin there
Father Vlasic is the second spiritual adviser to the seers to be
suspended from his ministry. The other, Father Jozo Zovko, was
suspended by Bishop Peric in 2004.
It represents a massive blow to millions of Medjugorje followers
worldwide who were hoping that the Vatican investigation would
legitimise the shrine.
Earlier this year, Italian Bishop Andrea Gemma denounced the Medjugorje
claims as the work of the Demon and predicted that soon the Vatican
will intervene with something explosive to unmask once and for all who
is behind this deceit.
The phenomenon began on 25 June 1981 when six children Mirjana
Dragicevic, Marija Pavlovic, Vicka Ivankovic, Ivan Dragicevic, Ivanka
Ivankovic and Jakov Colo told a priest they had seen the Virgin on a
hillside near their town.
Three Church commissions failed to find evidence to support their
claims and the bishops of the former Yugoslavia finally declared that
it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural
apparitions or revelations.
In 1985 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger now Pope Benedict banned pilgrimages to the site, but this has been widely ignored.
Instead the seers have grown wealthy as a result of their claims and
so has their town, which has boomed as a result of the Madonna gold
Some today own smart executive houses with immaculate gardens, double garages and security gates, and one has a tennis court.
They also own expensive cars and have married one of them, Ivan Dragicevic, to an American former beauty queen.
morgen krijgen jullie de officiêle brieven van de bisschop van Mostar
die bevoegd is voor de streek van Medjugorje over deze mirakels en
verschijningen die de franciskanen ons willen verkopen...
In deze woelige tijden waarin we moeten vernemen dat Belgische
legerkapiteins aanslagen beramen op koningin Fabiola omdat ze soldaten
zou hebben verkracht kunnen we niks anders dan geloven in mirakels en
bovennatuurlijke krachten. Dat is slechts één van de vele redenen
waarom we ons interesseren aan Medjugorje. Maar helaas blijkt onze
brave pater een sabbatjaar ingelast te hebben. Op het Isidorusweb of de
portal voor surfende katholieken (we vinden het echt niet zelf uit)
vinden we wat meer uitleg. Vooral weer maar eens over onze franciskanen
die eigenlijk steeds meer beginnen te lijken op echte satanisten als je
het ons vraagt. Maar omdat we evenmin in de grote satan geloven als in
een ander meer positiever opperwezen, zwijgen we hier maar zedig...
Koningin van de Vrede: in Hrasno of in Medjugorje?
het Bosnische Hrasno als Medjugorje zijn plaatsen van Mariaverering. De
ene is erkend, maar onbekend. De andere is niet erkend, maar immens
populair. Het lijkt op een strijd om de titel Koningin van de Vrede,
vindt Mark Waterinckx.
Hrasno wordt ook wel
het Fatima van Hercegovina genoemd. Het officieel erkende heiligdom van
de Koningin van de Vrede ligt op veertig kilometer van Medjugorje, dat
haar eigen Koningin van de Vrede heeft. Hrasno is vier jaar eerder dan
het begin van Medjugorje in 1981 opgericht. Medjugorje is nooit door de
Heilige Stoel erkend en ook de nationale bisschoppenconferentie en de
bisschop van Mostar erkennen de verschijningen in Medjugorje niet.
Beide plaatsen vallen onder het bisdom Mostar-Duvno.
Hrasno ligt in het
bisdom Trebinje. Het bisdom Trebinje had tot 1819 een eigen
bisschopszetel. Tot 1890 werd het bisdom toevertrouwd aan de bisschop
van Dubrovnik en vervolgens aan de bisschop van Mostar-Duvno die nu de
apostolische administrator van Trebinje is. De twee bisdommen
functioneren als één geheel onder de bevoegdheid van de bisschop van
Het idee voor een
Mariaheiligdom in Hrasno kwam oorspronkelijk van de lokale pastoor,
mgr. Stjepan Batinovic. Vanaf het begin van zijn pastoraat in 1947
wilde hij een ereplaats voor Maria bouwen. Er waren een aantal redenen
waarom de pastoor dat wilde. Een eerste reden is historisch van aard.
In verband met de voortdurende onrust in het gebied voelde
hij de drang voor gebed ter ere van Maria, Koningin van de Vrede.
Tegelijkertijd zijn er drie religies in het gebied (katholiek, orthodox
en moslim), waardoor het heiligdom interreligieuze dialoog kon
bevorden. Een derde reden is cultureel-economisch: om de mensen er van
te weerhouden naar het buitenland te emigreren of om ver te moeten
reizen voor een bedevaartplaats.
OLV Koningin van de Vrede in Hrasno
OLV Koningin van de Vrede in Medjugorje
In 1957 liet
Batinovic op de binnenplaats van de pastorie een kleine grot voor Onze
Lieve Vrouw van Lourdes bouwen. In 1975 was hij van plan om een groot
heiligdom op de berg Budisavina te bouwen, maar dat ging niet volgens
plan. Daarom begon hij prompt de heuvel Gradina naast de kerk van
Hrasno voor te bereiden voor zijn project. Uiteindelijk werd het
heiligdom van de Koningin van de Vrede in 1977 opgericht. Op 8 mei 1977
zegende de bisschop van Mostar mgr. Cule het nieuwe beeld van Onze
Lieve Vrouw Koningin van de Vrede, in aanwezigheid van drie andere
bisschoppen, veertig priesters en vijfduizend gelovigen.
reden hiervan is dat men in Hrasno Onze Lieve Vrouw, Koningin van de
Vrede, wilde vragen om verzoening van de mensen die in dit gebied wonen
en voor de eenheid van de kerk. De Gospa van Medjugorje neemt het vanaf
het begin op voor een aantal Franciscanen die tegen de bisschop van
Mostar rebelleren en tegen het decreet "Romanis Ponificibus' door paus
Paulus VI van 6 juni 1975, zegt Mark Waterinckx, die de ontwikkelingen
in Medjugorje met een kritisch oog volgt.
hierover: Reeds in de tachtiger jaren, toen ik met de bus op weg was
van Medjugorje naar Dubrovnik, had ik net ten noorden van Metkovic, een
richtingaanwijzer gezien waarop heiligdom Koningin van de Vrede Hrasno
20 km" stond. Maar in Medjugorje houdt iedereen zich muisstil over deze
plaats. Mark Waterinckx stelt zo zijn vragen. Waarom heeft
bijvoorbeeld marialoog en Medjugorje-voorstander Rene Laurentin Hrasno
nooit vernoemd? Waarom heeft de Gospa van Medjugorje het nooit over
Hrasno? Zouden er twee verschillende heiligdommen kunnen zijn met
dezelfde titel in dezelfde kerkelijke provincie?
Op 9 mei 1997
stuurde paus Johannes Paulus II een telegram met gelukwensen voor de
twintigste verjaardag van het erkende heiligdom 'Kraljica Mira' in
Herzegovina. Hij gaf zijn bijzondere apostolische zegen aan dit 'vero
centro di devozione Mariana' (echt centrum van Mariale devotie). Dit
moet voor elke Franciscaan in Medjugorje toch wel duidelijk zijn. Eens
vroeg ik in Medjugorje aan een Franciscaan om met mij mee te gaan naar
Hrasno. Hij weigerde. Waarom? Omdat 'Hrasno een diocesaan Heiligdom is
en niet een Franciscaans', zei hij. Heel typisch voor deze vreemde
situatie in dit gebied van rivaliteit en fanatisme.
Waterinckx meent dat
het er alle schijn van heeft dat in 1981 de Franciscanen het erkende
heiligdom in Hrasno hebben overgebracht naar Medjugorje voor aldaar
verblijvende valse zieners. In die tijd waren de paters Vlasic en
Slavko Barbaric allebei kapelaans in Capljina, een kleine stad
halverwege tussen Medjugorje en Hrasno. Dat kan haast geen toeval zijn.
paters en de bisschop van Mostar leveren al jaren een strijd. Naar het
idee van Mark Waterinckx wordt Medjugorje hiervoor ingezet. Veel van de
Medjugorje-paters zijn op hun vingers getikt, of zelfs gesuspendeerd.
Vorig jaar pater Vlasic, de eerste geestelijke leider van de
Medjugorje-zieners, door Rome zwaar gestraft voor
gewetensmanipulaties, twijfelachtige doctrines, verdacht mysticisme,
ongehoorzaamheid, schandalig seksueel wangedrag en verdenking van
ketterij en schisma. Het is merkwaardig dat Maria van Medjugorje in
haar boodschappen deze pater altijd bemoedigde in haar boodschappen aan de zieners.
De Franciscaan Bozo Rados, kapelaan in Capljina, zei me in 1997: Ik
word geleid door de Heilige Geest. Ik heb geen paus nodig, ik heb geen
bisschop nodig. Rados is thans uit de Franciscaanse orde verwijderd
door de Franciscaanse Generale Overste in Rome. Het is eveneens
merkwaardig dat pater Jozo Zovko, de voormalige pastoor van Medjugorje
en beschermeling van de zieners, driemaal werd gesuspendeerd door de
bisschoppen van Mostar, maar een heiligegenoemd door de Franciscaanse
Maria, nu plots verdwenen is uit de provincie Mostar. Officiëel wegens gezondheidsredenen.
we vinden eveneens "een prikkelende column van onze eigen inlandse Mgr
Leonard over Medjugorje die ons inderdaad achterlaat met meer vragen
dan goed is voor ons hartje...
De bisschop van Namen, Andre-Mutien Leonard, spreekt zich in zijn column in Katholiek Nieuwsblad van deze
week uit voor het fenomeen Medjugorje. De vruchten van het
bedevaartsoord zijn van dien aard, dat die niet alleen kunnen
voortkomen uit het dat men er bidt, biecht en de Mis viert, schrijft
hij. "Want dat gebeurt elders ook, maar zonder zoveel gevolgen."
Toch zijn er dingen mis, aldus mgr. Leonard. "Medjugorje heeft
niet de transparantie van Lourdes." Het uiteindelijke oordeel over
Medjugorje komt echter toe aan de Kerk. Moest dat oordeel negatief
uitpakken, dan legt Leonard zich daar bij neer, "wetend dat het beter
is zich in gehoorzaamheid van Medjugorje los te maken dan er zich met
ongehoorzaamheid aan vast te klampen, wat zeker tot dwaling leidt".
De prikkelende columns van mgr. Leonard zijn driewekelijks te lezen in de papieren editie van Katholiek Nieuwsblad.
Tiens, zou er dan toch iets mis zijn op deze heilige plaats?
Nogmaals de zelfde bron raadplegen en wat lezen we tot onze grote verbijstering? Let ook op de recente datum...
Een nieuwe Vaticaanse commissie zal vanaf volgende maand onderzoek
gaan doen naar de vermeende verschijningen van Maria in Medjugorje
(Bosnie-Herzegovina). Dat meldt Radio Vaticana.
Doel van de commissie is tweeledig: achterhalen wat er waar is met
betrekking tot de gemelde verschijningen en onderzoeken hoe de Kerk het
beste de vele honderdduizenden pelgrims kan begeleiden die jaarlijks
naar Medjugorje komen ondanks kerkelijke afwijzingen.
Tot een inhoudelijk slotoordeel zal de commissie niet komen, aldus
de radiozender, want daartoe is het nodig dat de verschijningen eerst
afgesloten zijn. Het bericht herhaalt het oordeel van de huidige
kardinaal Bertone dat officiele pelgrimages verboden zijn, maar dat
particulier bezoek is toegestaan, mits zo'n bezoek geen bevestiging van
de verschijningen inhoudt.
we herhalen er wordt een vaticaanse commissie opgericht en "officiële
pelgrimages zijn verboden maar particulier bezoek is toegestaan, mits
zo'n bezoek geen bevestiging van de verschijningen inhoudt".
breekt onze klomp, wat zouden we nu willen een particulier bezoek aan
zo een boerenhol afleggen als daar nu net geen "eigenaardige" dingen
gebeuren. Dat is nu eens typische "tsjevenpraat" zullen we maar zeggen
zeker? Het is bij dat soort godsdienst dan ook nooit wit of zwart...het
zit er altijd ergens tussenin...
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has written to Bishop
Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, whose diocese covers Medjugorje, to inform
him that they are investigating the case of Franciscan Fr Tomislav
(UK Catholic Herald) - The Vatican has authorized "severe cautionary
and disciplinary measures" against a priest who once served as
"spiritual leader" to the visionaries in Medjugorje,
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has written to
Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, whose diocese covers Medjugorje, to
inform him that they are investigating the case of Franciscan Fr
The CDF has asked the bishop, for the good of the faithful, to
inform the community of the canonical status of the Bosnian priest,
whose actions automatically provoked Vatican sanctions.
In a statement posted on the website of the Diocese of
Mostar-Duvno, Bishop Peric explained that Fr Vlasic has been reported
to the CDF "for the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of
consciences, suspicious mysticism, disobedience toward legitimately
issued orders", and accusations of sexual immorality.
The doctrinal congregation said in the letter, also posted on the
website, that the priest had been disciplined after he stubbornly
refused to cooperate with the inquiry, instead "justifying himself by
citing his zealous activity" in initiating religious communities and
building churches in the Medjugorje area.
A decree confirming action against Fr Vlasic was signed by Cardinal
William Levada, prefect of the CDF, and Fr José Rodriguez Carballo, the
minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, earlier this year.
It confined Fr Vlasic to a Franciscan monastery in Italy and banned
him from contact with the Queen of Peace community, which he founded,
or with his lawyers without permission from his superior.
He is banned from making public appearances, preaching and hearing
confessions, and he will be required to make a solemn profession of the
Catholic faith. The Vatican has warned Fr Vlasic that he will be
excommunicated if he violates any of the prohibitions.
"Fr Vlasic is forewarned that, in the case of stubbornness, a
juridical penal process will begin with the aim of still harsher
sanctions, not excluding dismissal, having in mind the suspicion of
heresy and schism, as well as scandalous acts contra sextum [against
the Sixth Commandment] aggravated by mystical motivations," Bishop
In Rome a Franciscan official told Catholic News Service that it is
true that "disciplinary measures have been taken" against Fr Vlasic
"but he is still a friar of our order; he has not been dismissed from
the Franciscans or the clerical state".
Passionist Fr Ciro Benedettini, vice director of the Vatican press office, also confirmed the content of Bishop Peric's letter.
Fr Vlasic was a key figure in promoting the apparitions at the
unofficial shrine in Medjugorje. In 1984 he wrote to Pope John Paul II
to say that he was the one "who through divine providence guides the
seers of Medjugorje".
Four years later he moved to Parma, Italy, where he set up the
mixed Queen of Peace religious community dedicated to the Medjugorje
Fr Vlasic is the second spiritual adviser to the visionaries to be
suspended from his ministry. Bishop Peric confirmed the suspension of
the faculties of the other priest, Fr Jozo Zovko, in 2004. The
Medjugorje phenomenon began June 25 1981, when six children told a
priest they had seen Mary on a hillside near their town. Since then,
Mary is said to have appeared to the six more than 40,000 times and
imparted hundreds of messages. But three Church commissions failed to
find evidence to support their claims, and the bishops of the former
Yugoslavia declared in 1991 that "it cannot be affirmed that these
matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations".
In 1985 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then prefect of the CDF and now
Pope Benedict XVI, banned official, diocesan or parish-sponsored
pilgrimages to the shrine. However, individual Catholics are still free
to visit and have a priest with them.
John Hanrahan, convenor of the Medjugorje Apostolate in England and
Wales, said the CDF was investigating the entire ministry of Fr Vlasic
and not just his involvement in Medjugorje.
He said: "Fr Vlasic was associated with Medjugorje at the beginning
but we should not presume the final judgment of the Church [on
Medjugorje]. We are being totally obedient on the matter of private
Tsjonge tsjonge tsjonge....wij vallen van onze wolk en morgen vertellen we méér..
om beter te weten waarover we hier spreken verwijzen we onze
nieuwsgierige lezertjes naar onze Top 90 bij Bloggen en zoals jullie
zullen merken staat daar ergens rond de 20ste plaats het blog
Medjugorje en we zijn zo goed om hier effe een directe link te leggen:
bijdrage heeft geenszins de bedoeling te spotten met personen die
geloven in dergelijke bedevaartsoorden en we willen zeker en vast niet
de goeie bedoelingen van de verantwoordelijken van dit blog in twijfel
trekken. Laat dit meteen voor iedereen duidelijk zijn. Wij zijn
ongelovigen maar wij hebben geen enkel probleem met het geloof van
anderen, zonder onderscheid tussen de verschillende godsdiensten. Wij
zijn voorstanders van een volledige godsdienstvrijheid. Dat is dan ook
maar meteen gezegd en gebeiteld. MAAR we willen wel wat kanttekeningen
aanbrengen bij sommige fenomenen zoals het bedevaartsoord Medjugorje.
We hebben hier eerder al een paar teksten gepubliceerd die verwijzen
naar de financiering van dit oord door plundergoud van het Kroatische
gruwelregime van de ustacha. Maar er is nog meer...en we zullen vanaf
hier nu al maar aankondigen dat we geen subsidies noch verzoekjes
hebben gekregen vanwege één of andere antichrist om deze bijdrage te
schrijven; We zijn er echter van overtuigd dat dit wel zal gezegd
worden door de fanclub van Medjugorje
Maar we zullen beginnen
met de woorden van die Weense kardinaal die nieuwjaar vierde ginder ter
plekke en die zo mooi verklaarde: "Ik geloof dat er in de Kerk vele
gebeurtenissen zijn, die vanuit menselijk standpunt ogenschijnlijk
Welwelwel dat is nu eens mooi gezegd en met deze mooie uiytspraak in ons achterhoofdje beginnen we te spitten...
eerst en vooral gaan we op
zoek naar de man die dit allemaal van zeer dichtbij mocht meemaken
namelijk de devote levende heilige van deze plaats Franciskanerbroeder
Jozo Zovko en hier vinden jullie zijn stichtende verhaal:
O.F.M., a Franciscan priest has been a part of the history of the
phenomena of Medjugorje since the very beginning. As a young priest,
Father Jozo enjoyed the assignment as Parish Priest for the Saint James
Church in Medjugorje,
Bosnia-Hercegovina when the first apparition occurred on June 24, 1981.
When the children first started to speak of
the apparitions, Father Jozo was doubtful that it was more than the
excited imaginations of the young. Still, talk of the apparitions was
dangerous in an area of Communist oppression. He was torn between
trying to keep his parish and the suddenly arriving pilgrims calm and
centered and taking care of their spiritual needs and making sense out
of the stories of the apparitions.. if indeed they had occurred. It
wasn't long before he was convinced that the children were seeing the
Gospa and that something wonderful was happening to his St. James
parish that would soon affect the world through the Gospa's messages
Towards the end of July, 1981,
while Father Jozo was praying inside of St. James, he heard a male
voice tell him: "Go outside and protect the children.". Upon opening
the door of the church, he found all six visionaries,
Ivanka, Ivan, Jakov, Marija, Mirjana and Vicka frightened of the police
and begging for help. He gave them sanctuary in the rectory.
After refusing the order to close
St. James, Father Jozo Zovko was arrested on August 17, 1981.. barely
two months after the first apparition. He was tried and convicted on
charges of subversion against the (Communist) state. He was sentenced
to three and a half years hard labor.
Despite the many cruel and
horrendous tortures he endured while imprisoned, his faith remained
strong and grew. Unable to cope with such devoutness in the face of
their extensive cruelty as well as the increasing political pressure
against his imprisonment, the Communists released Father Jozo after 18
months on the condition he never return to St. James as pastor.
Father Jozo now travels through
the world and speaks of the Gospa's messages. He speaks of the
immeasurable love of Jesus and he asks us all to respond to the call
with all of our hearts. And he teaches these very things by his words
and his example.
One project that is very close to
Father Jozo's heart is taking care of the many children who became
orphans through the Bosnian War. He has established the non-profit
"International Godparenthood for the Herceg Bosnian Child." and all
fees from his speaking engagements go to help the orphans. You may find
a link to learn more about Father Jozo's Godparenthood program on our
Favorite Links page. Father Jozo Zovko
O.F.M. is also author of the book "as she asks" with Geraldine Hemmings
and Carrie Swearingen.
Below are excerpts of a speech
Father Jozo gave to the pilgrims visiting Medjugorje on October 4,
1998, the day after the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi. In the interest
of keeping the flavor and the intent intact, there has been no editing
of the vocabulary or syntax changed as Father Jozo's comments were
translated into English as he spoke.
overjoyed that I am able to greet you and I thank you for having
responded to the call. The call of Our Lady, the Queen of Peace. .
Thankful that it was not too far for you to come. Thank you for not
being afraid that your plane would not crash into the ocean.
Yesterday was the feast day of a great man.. You see how he stands in our midst. Our brother, our interceptor, St. Francis.
He, after inspiring us for 8 centuries.. inspiring the young and the
old the sick and the healthy and when he felt that his generation was
destroying everything. When even in our generation we are destroying
our nature, it has come to mind to consecrate and dedicate everything
to him. And this our hope. A desire to have a great dialog amongst
religions and his, too.
Holy Father came to the tomb of this great man, this little brother
Francis, to start this great dialog amongst religions. And it is a
great state, a monumental state when all people from various religions,
various parts of the world came and prayed at his tomb together. He is
the man who left behind his sword and his sheath and he took the crop.
Here is a man who left his precious horse and replaced him with bare
feet and sandals. Here is the man who exchanged his very precious
garments all decorated with real gold and even fur and instead has
taken on poverty. This is what we dont know how to do. This is what I
can not do and I dont know how to do. And this man that stands before
me in inspirations saying to me: "You also can."
And I'm deeply convinced that I can. And each time I think of him..
when I look at him, when I meet him in my heart, he tells me:
"Do not be afraid, you can do likewise."
I'm so glad
that you came on this precious saint's feast day. After today, I am
certain you will love him more, you will respect him more. St. Francis
as a young man was always in tears. A man filled with the greatest joy,
always wiping away tears. And his brothers asked him.. why are you
crying? Why are you always crying? You look at the cross and you cry.
You teach an assignment and you cry. You see the sign as you cross the
road and you cry and you wipe away your tears. Why are you crying?
Francis responded and said: "Because I don't love. I don't know how to
love. It is my desire that I learn how to love. And then he turned to
his brothers and said: "My brothers look.. as he pointed to Jesus
saying .. Love is not love. I desire to learn how to love."
centuries later in Medjugorje, Our Lady speaks to us and says: "Dear
children. How is it that you dont know how to love Jesus? How is it
that you dont know how to love his cross and his wounds? Look at his
wounds. Looks at the cross and learn how to love." And what we do we
learn when we look at the cross. We learn so much. We learn most that
we can learn.. we gain the greatest lessons of love. Before the cross
we learn how to love. And love means to give our life for others. I
live live for others. Yes, I can learn to live for others. And it is a
continual event to do more. To be more an image of Jesus. In the last
message Our Lady says to us: "Dear children. I desire to call you to
live the faith of your fathers. To return to the faith of your
you were in Split. Why? That you may learn together with the Holy
Father the faith of a nation.. of the church. In that city where many
of you were yesterday with the Holy Father, the oldest known cathedral
today is there. An older cathedral does not exist. The persecutor of
the church 1100 years ago made himself a most beautiful tomb, like a
Roman Emperor on the site. And he wanted to die in the most beautiful
city of his kingdom. And then thats why he has placed his castle on the
edge of the ocean. He built on the land his tomb. But he was talked
into murdering the bishop who was found in the vicinity of that
village. There, where the Holy Father was with the young yesterday
afternoon. And he was the one who was talked into persecuting the
followers of Christ. And the Roman Emperor became an executor and a
murder. And he died. And it is in his tomb that the Christians brought
their martyr, their saint, their bishop. In the mean time freedom came.
And the successor of the Emperor said: "No Christians are allowed to be
persecuted by decree." And in the mausoleum that the king had built for
himself, the Christians placed their bishop. And to the living bishop
at the time they built everything next to their cathedral. And thats
why Our father came to celebrate the great strength of faith of
martyrdom in this city. But, the city does celebrate 1700 years of its
diocese of its city . That is the faith of your father who was prepared
to die for Jesus.
are in relatively desolate area. For us, who are born here, it is
beautiful. For example we have other Brother Eustive here.. and he's
been a priest for 33 years and he lives in the diocese in the US. And
although he no longer lives here, he's always happy to return here.
Because it the love of this beautiful place always remains. And for
those that loves this place, it is never desolate, it is never a desert
but, it is always home.
And for you
it will become that place. And do you know why? Because this place was
consecrated to Our Lady. 150 years ago it was consecrated to her. The
church was built at that time. 50 years ago when the
communists came, when the church was celebrating its 100th anniversary
of the monastery. It was the communists that came and said there was no
more God. And when they came they found 30 Franciscans. 30 professors
of the adjacent seminary. And they told them there was no more God.
That their church was dead. And there was no more church and no more
pope and that there was no more need for that. They told them that
their life was superficial. They told the Franciscans to remove their
habits. To leave their faith and go into the world.
they could not. and they said: "No, we can not leave." When the enemy
recognized that the Franciscans were so full of faith and conviction,
an enraged soldier took the crucifix from the wall and threw it at the
feet of the Franciscans. Present were the children who were in the
school of students they were teaching. And it was before those
children, the communists said to the Franciscans: "Now you may choose.
Life or Death." Each one of them chose Jesus. So warmly they embraced
Him! They kissed Him. And the confessed the great one thing. And they
said: "You are my Father and my everything. You are everything and I am
nothing." One by one they were taken outside and thrown into the
flames. But, some they went knowing full well where they were going.
They went with blessings. And the enemies that are alive today,
witnesses say.. "As we were persecuting them, they were praying for us.
As we cursed them, they rejoiced and celebrated God and they sang."
What a great step that was. Being thrown into flames. This is the faith
of the your Fathers. This is the faith of your fathers.
In the last
message Our Lady says to return the faith of our fathers. This is the
time to live according to the faith of our fathers. Yes, you are on a
journey. And we must be careful that the same might not happen to your
faith that happened to technology. What happened? The plows that were
pulled by the horses are replaced by the great and powerful tractors in
the fields. The slow ships are being replaced by power ships. And the
trip from America that would have taken you months to travel the ocean
now only takes 12 hours. Before to hear news from another continent
took a long time. But, now simultaneously we are able to see the
transmissions from around the world.
Ontroerend nietwaar maar sinds enige tijd zijn we wat
voorzichtiger geworden met Franciskanen uit de Balkan en onze ijverige
lezertjes die onze bijdragen over Pius XII hebben gelezen zullen ons
dat niet kwalijk nemen, vermoeden we...
Liefhebbertjes van zulke suikerzoete verhaaltjes zoals hierboven kunnen verder hun hartjes ophalen op deze site:
Father Jozo Zovko on Sabbatical. Here
is the official letter circulated on Fathers behalf by his assistant,
Mrs. Vesna Curic:Siroki Brijeg, February 9, 2009 With this notice we
desire to inform you that due to health reasons, the need for rest and
recuperation, and due to the commencement of construction on Badija, Fr
Jozo Zovko has asked his superiors for permission to reside outside of
the Province. The Province Board approved this request. For this
reason, we are canceling all programs planned for the ensuing year. We
kindly ask all our co-ordinators and co-workers, organizers of
pilgrimages to Medjugorje, organizers of prayer meetings and seminars,
and all Medjugorje Centers and pilgrims to respect this and not to plan
or ask for a meeting with Fr Jozo during this time. We thank you for
your understanding, and united in prayer we remain yours truly in
Christ.-Vesna Cuzic-on behalf of Fr JozoInternational God-Parenthood
for the Herceg-Bosnian Child.
knows why He sometimes allows a gap or a painful absence to enter into
our lives He always has a plan. Remember when Abraham renounced his
son Isaac, only to bear even greater fruit for humanity? When Saint
Joseph thought that he had to give up marrying Mary, it was to finally
find her in a more pure and beautiful way. But he had to go through an
agony so that his own heart would enlarge to match hers! If Fr.
Jozos absence is a painful pruning process for the pilgrims and for
each one of us here, it would be good nevertheless for all of us to
welcome the event with a positive attitude, not as a calamity, but
rather as a gift from God Who will use it for a greater purpose. Just
imagine, it is quite possible that this time of sabbatical may save Fr.
Jozos life, and prevent him from collapsing from exhaustion without
warning as Fr. Slavko did! Isnt it also possible that a change in his
life pattern may permit him to perceive other aspects of Marys plan
for Medjugorje that he may reveal to us later on? The possibilities for
why God chose this time to give Father Jozo a break are endless. One
thing we can be sure of is that if we welcome this time of trial with
faith and even with gratitude, we will free the way for the Lord to
harvest all its fruit, in our day and in Eternity. But if we mourn what
was ours before and now seems lost, or even worse, if we attempted to
blame someone for having robbed us of it, we certainly would be wasting
our time and ruining Gods plan. Im sure that Fr. Jozo is expecting
us to display an attitude of faith. Lets make this our way to thank
him for his 27 years of service to us! Let us also pray for him, and
continue to study his teachings that are still available on CDs, DVDs
and books at Siroki Brijeg. Dearest Gospa, we dearly love you! In the midst of all the tribulations of this life, you are our resplendent star! Sister Emmanuel +
Beste lezertjes, proef elk woord van deze wonderlijke tekst
want weldra zal een andere iets wereldsere versie op jullie gelovige
zieltjes worden losgelaten...maar eerst nog wat rozenwater sprenkelen
over deze brave ziel en merk vooral op dat er in de eerste tekst wordt gewezen op de
"beschermende" rol die onze Franciskanen hier ter plekke hebben
gespeeld....daar weten we alles over natuurlijk...en dan zeggen dat het
Franciskanerklooster van Siroki Brijeg één van de ergste monsters uit
WOII heeft voortgebracht ene zekere Peter Brzica en wie is deze beschermengel der bevolking?
The worst atrocities, strange as it may seem,
were carried out by members of the intelligentsia. The case of
Peter Brzica is undoubtedly one of the most incredible in this
category. Peter Brzica had attended the Franciscan College at
Siroki Brijeg, Herzegovina, was a law student, and a member of
the Catholic organization of the Crusaders (Krizari). In the
concentration camp at Jasenovac, on the night of August 29, 1942,
orders were issued for executions. Bets were made as to who could
liquidate the largest number of inmates. Peter Brzica cut the
throats of 1,360 prisoners with a specially sharp butcher's
knife. Having been proclaimed the prize-winner of the
competition, he was elected King of the Cut-throats. A gold
watch, a silver service, and a roasted sucking pig and wine were
his other rewards. A doctor, Dr. Nikola Kilolic, himself a Croat,
was an eyewitness in the camp when the event took place, and
subsequently testified to the authenticity of this astonishing
Father Jozo Zovko, O.F.M., the priest most recognized with the apparitions
and spiritual phenomena of Medjugorje. His selection came
from the many readers who believe in the message of Medjugorje
which Father Jozo continues to emphasize today, the same message
imparted to saints for centuries including Saint John Bosco
through his vision of the two pillars - the Eucharist and
devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary's Immaculate Heart. He
has often been called the "Eucharistic priest."
While this term should apply to all priests because of the
immense privilege and right they are afforded through the
Sacrament of Holy Orders, Father Jozo is constantly upholding
the Eucharist as the answer to all our questions.
How fitting it was that he was called Jozo for in Croatian
it means Joseph and he was born on that great saint's feast
day - March 19, 1941 in the village of Uzari in the parish
of Siroki Brijeg, where he is assigned today at the Franciscan
monastery. He was the eighth of ten children born to Mate
and Milka Zovko and the times were tough for World War II
was in full force, but the family survived and little Jozo
finished his primary grade school first in Uzari, then Siroki
Brijeg before realizing he had a vocation to the priesthood.
He entered the seminary in Bol on the island of Brac directly
south of Split in the Adriatic Sea. He transfered to the major
seminary in Sarajevo after Novitiate and at the age of 26
was enrolled at Ljubljana University receiving his degree
in Theology. He was ordained in Sarajevo on August 6, 1967.
He was assigned to the Gratz University in Austria to continue
Upon graduating in the early seventies he returned to his
homeland of Yugoslavia where communism ruled. Though the communist
regime allowed worship, they frowned on those who were too
faithful. One of those was Father Jozo. Because of his deep
faith, his devotion to God and because of his tremendous influence
in the parishes where he was assigned, the communists influenced
the local bishop to transfer him often. It must be understood
that the bishops were selected at that time and all the way
up until after the fall of the communistic regime in the early
nineties, by approval of the communist authorities in Belgrade.
This included Bishop Zanic and the present prelate Bishop
Peric. It was often a tough call for the Vatican but the Holy
See realized it was the only way to prevent total persecution
of the Church. It's also interesting to note that the two
bishops in question who have ruled against Medjugorje, the
Vatican has taken jurisdiction on ruling on Medjugorje out
of their hands in unprecedented moves. That and the long history
of the Franciscans' loyalty to the people and the Church should
shed some light on the current flap between the bishops and
Franciscans regarding Medjugorje and which have been totally
blown out of proportion in accusing the Franciscans of being
disobedient. Nothing could be further from the truth and the
Franciscans continue to operate in Medjugorje at St. James
and surrounding areas of Bosnia within the Diocese of Mostar
because of Vatican intervention. The Holy See is well aware
of the politics and corruption of past bishoprics because
of communist influence.
It was into this atmosphere that Father Jozo was transferred
to St. James parish in Medjugorje, which, in Croatian means
"between two mountains." This agricultural valley
was a small village where the Faith was practiced but not
with the devotion expected. Father Jozo began to preach and
entreat the people to return to the Sacraments, to live their
Faith. He was like "John the Baptist" if you will
for, without him realizing it, he was preparing the parish
for what was to come eight months after he had been assigned
to St. James as the new pastor. On June 24, 1981, while he
was on retreat in Croatia, the Blessed Mother is reported
to have appeared on the Podrbo, also called "Apparition
Hill." Medjugorje would never be the same, nor would
When he first was told of the apparitions, he felt the children
- Mirjana Dragicevic, Ivanka Ivankovic, Maria Pavlovic, Ivan
Dragicevic, Vicka Ivankovic and Jakov Colo - were all pulling
a prank. He chastised them for such tales and the seriousness
of such claims. To his surprise, rather than the children
coming clean and admitting it was a hoax, they stuck to their
story insisting the "Gospa" had appeared to them.
Still he didn't believe until he knelt in St. James alone
one morning after Mass and heard a Heavenly voice say, "Protect
the children." Almost immediately they came flying into
the rectory, out of breath with the communist soldiers in
pursuit. He knew instantly it was no hoax and sought to give
the six young ones sanctuary. For this he paid the price.
He was summoned to communist headquarters in Mostar where
he was accused of provoking an uprising by spurring the children
to fabricate the apparitions and get the parishioners stirred
up against the communists. They ordered him to suppress the
movement in Medjugorje as more and more were flocking to this
village as news spread. Had they called him in one week earlier,
before he heard the voice which he knew instinctively was
from God, he might have complied. But he could not go against
God's charge. Therefore he refused and, after a kangaroo court,
was sentenced to three years of prison. The sentence in communistic
incarceration was commuted to half that following the pressure
applied on the Yugoslav government by the faithful in Medjugorje
and surrounding areas as well as others outside the country
who had heard of the phenomena and the travesties against
In the spring of 1983, Father Jozo was released and transferred
to St. Elijah in Tihaljina. It was here where we first came
in contact with this holy priest. It was May of 1990 during
our first pilgrimage to Medjugorje, one that would forever
change our life. We were kneeling at the communion rail after
his inspiring two hour talk in which he blessed each person
afterwards. It was a throwback to the old way of receiving
Our Lord at Holy Communion, except this time it was the Holy
Spirit Who came through the charisma of Father Jozo; for as
we knelt immediately in front of that beautiful, famous statue
of Our Lady, known as "Our Lady of Tihaljina" we
could feel the power of the Advocate. As he placed his hands
on our head, a warmth never before felt came over us and were
slain in the Spirit for the first time ever in the most relaxing,
peacefilled mode ever experienced.
This charism has been experienced by millions who have flocked
to Medjugorje and made side trips to Tihaljina and now the
monastery in Siroki Brijeg to hear and be touched by this
amazing priest. He continued to receive pilgrims, preaching
and touching them until 1992 when the war in Croatia and then
Bosnia-Herzegovina prevented this. He turned his attentions
to helping his people, making trips to London, Washington,
New York, Paris, Brussels, Strasbourg and Rome on a peace
mission trying to persuade political leaders to help stop
the killing and suffering of innocent people. It was the same
kind of mission Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo just returned from
concerning his beleaguered and suffering flock in East Timor.
Just as he had been called by Heaven to "Protect the
children" when the six visionaries were threatened, so
also he has been called by God to protect the children ravaged
by war and hate. He helped establish the International Godparenthood
which served as a vehicle for people the world over to adopt
a Godchild from among the many whose parents were killed in
the devastating war that slaughtered 280,000 over a four-year
period and destroyed countless homes and churches throughout
Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was established on December
20, 1992 with Father Jozo as president of the association.
Today over 4,000 children are cared for spiritually and financially
in Siroki Brijeg through this organization. There is also
the Holy Family Institute which he is involved with which
sponsors a children's renewal center in Siroki Brijeg serving
as a clearing house for people of all faiths in rebuilding
and getting back on their feet after the devastation of war.
The center provides food, shelter, clothing and the opportunity
to educate all as to the sacredness of human dignity. The
center is, as Father Jozo explains, "a monument of love..the
monument that speaks to all generations here as to what love
has done by reestablishing themselves in society for the good."
While he has sponsored and approved of many organizations,
he has also been used by some. One such was the "Nine
Novenas of Prayer" in which the organizers illegally
signed his name to it. He took umbrage for much of the appeal
dealt with a forboding apocalyptic tone full of fear and fatalistic
threats. Father Jozo renounced that as he wrote, "In
through these fatalistic and threatening texts are obviously
contrary to the messages of the Queen of Peace who for eighteen
years as a mother has been arousing, instructing and inspiring
millions of pilgrims and followers toward an apostolate of
prayer and fasting."
Another project that did not have his blessings and which
he was not consulted on was the movie "Gospa", a
poorly done portrayal of him played by Martin Sheen in which
the facts were misrepresented and he was made to look like
a priest more interested in his image than souls. Nothing
could be further from the truth for he is a man who speaks
from the heart - a heart that reveals a selflessness and total
surrender to God's Will. Even though "Gospa" was
promoted to aid the refugees, it died a quick death because
it was not faithful to the life of Father Jozo and his own
sister Sister Fabiana, a humble, obedient nun who in no way
represents the Hollywood image conveyed by Morgan Fairchild
in the part of Sister Fabiana. In an interview in 1995, Father
Jozo refuted most of what was in the movie.
Since 1992 he has been stationed at the Franciscan monastery
in Siroki Brijeg just a short way from where he was born.
But he has also traveled the world, from the far east, the
mid east, Americas and throughout Europe and Africa spreading
the message of Medjugorje and the vital importance of the
Eucharist which are intrinsically linked as Father says, "Place
your life upon the altar. You will witness how a priest will
place a drop of water within a chalice full of wine. That
drop of water intermingles with the wine and signifies you
in the Holy Mass. You can become one, unite with and intermingle
with Jesus. That is why the Holy Mass is called Communion
- union with God - you and your God together - that is the
Holy Eucharist." He also pointed out this link before
Mass in Portland, Oregon a few years ago which we have taken
from www.medjugorje.org, "Why is it that churches and
sects do not tolerate the Mass, do not respect Our Lady? Because
they go hand-in-hand. Yes, they go together. Our Lady teaches
to come to love Jesus, to fall in love with Him, and that
is why she places us before the Holy Eucharist, and pleads
with us to pray before this holy, Blessed Sacrament, so from
Jesus we may learn to become bread for others; so that I not
have fear to say, 'Take this, all of you, of Me, and eat of
it.'...Our Lady works in miraculous ways. She was always the
sign, the sign of a better world, the sign of peace and unit
in the Church, the sign of our salvation."
Father Jozo has been persecuted, imprisoned, denigrated
and accused of unspeakable sins from graft to child abuse.
What is his defense against all of this? "Father, forgive
them. They know not what they do." He can be found innumerable
hours a day before the Tabernacle in prayer, pleading not
for his own will and reputation but for God's Will to be done
no matter the consequences. He epitomizes the priests of Medjugorje
who day-in-day-out are ridiculed and placed under the magnifying
glass of scrutiny - men like Father Svetozar Kraljivec, OFM,
another very humble and holy priest whose heroic acts during
the war have gone untold at his request; Father Ivan Landeka,
OFM, the current pastor of St. James, Father Slavko Barbaric,
OFM, who was the voter's choice for the 41st selection of
the TOP 100 CATHOLICS OF THE CENTURY on October 14th; Father
Petar Ljubicic, OFM, the priest whom visionary Mirjana Dragicevic
has selected to receive and announce the ten secrets when
Our Lady says to do so; Father Philip Pavic, OFM, the American-born
Franciscan who serves the English-speaking pilgrims in Medjugorje
and has come to be known as the loveable ol' curmudgeon with
a cynical streak; Father Tomislav Vlasic, OFM, Father Ivan
Dugandzic, OFM;Father Tomislav Pervan, OFM, now the Franciscan
provincial, and Father Ljudevit Rupcic, OFM who we personally
interviewed extensively along with Archbishop Frane Franic,
the former Archbishop of Split who was instrumental in the
Vatican taking the matter out of the local ordinary of Mostar's
Today, at 58 Father Jozo continues to minister to the people
of Siroki Brijeg and the countless pilgrims who come to hear
and be inspired. He also continues to travel the globe bringing
Our Lady's message to all. When asked about the criticism
that Medjugorje has become a commercial venture, he winces
but admits, "Our Lady is so pure that I would like the
entrance to her shrine to be clean, with no shops at all.
But I also understand that the people want to take something
home, to remember their visit. This is something that happens
in all famous places." He is truly correct in this which
can be corroborated if one ever visited Guadalupe, Lourdes
or Fatima. They all have vendors coming out of the woodwork,
as does the Vatican.
When asked about the fact the apparitions continue to this
day after an unprecedented eighteen and a half years, he doesn't
hesitate in affirming that "A made-up story could not
last this long. And it couldn't be satan's work. Satan doesn't
call for prayer and conversion." And this is what Father
Jozo continues to preach with every waking breath - prayer
and conversion! In this humble, charismatic Franciscan is
embodied the messages of Medjugorje.
en morgen gaan we verder uitspitten wat er nu allemaal gebeurt aan wonderen op deze "heilige plaats"
Letter of Ambassador Milo Pojar, Chairman of Organizing Committee, from February 9, 2009:
"More than six decades after World War II the terrible ghosts of the
Holocaust have not disappeared. The perverse ideology that led to the
horrors of the Holocaust still exists and throughout our continents
racial hatred and ethnic intolerance stalk our societies. Therefore, it
is our moral and political responsibility to support Holocaust
remembrance and education in national, as well as international,
frameworks and to fight against all forms of intolerance and hatred.
discuss new, innovative approaches in education, social programs and
cultural initiatives related to the Holocaust and other National
Socialist wrongs and to advance religious and ethnic tolerance in our
societies and the world.
We sincerely hope this conference will mitigate the injustices
caused by the Holocaust and other National Socialist wrongs and prevent
them from recurring.
We look forward to welcoming you at the Prague Conference in June.
Ambassador Milo Pojar,
Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Prague"
Stuart E. Eizenstat will head the US delegation at the Holocaust Era
Deputy Treasury Secretary and Under Secretary of State Stuart E.
Eizenstat will be the Head of US delegation on the Holocaust Era Assets
Conference. Stuart Eizenstat was President Jimmy Carter's Chief
Domestic Policy Adviser, and Executive Director of the White House
Domestic Policy Staff. He was President Bill Clinton's Deputy Secretary
of the Treasury (1999-2001), Under Secretary of State for Economic,
Business, and Agricultural Affairs (1997-1999). He also has served as
the U.S. ambassador to the European Union from 1993 to 1996 and as
co-chairman of the European-American Business Council (EABC). In 2008,
the Ambassador Stuart E. Eizenstat received Professorship in Jewish
history and culture at the University of Carolina
deze site vinden jullie de uiterst interessante verklaring van
Theresiënstad die werd ondertekend door 46 landen en waarbij Servië en
het Vaticaan als waarnemers waren betrokken.
raden onze lezertjes aan om de verklaring van de Kroatië aandachtig te
lezen want blijkbaar is er wel wat veranderd maar we vinden het toch
maar zeer eigenaardig dat er wel zijdelings melding wordt gemaakt van
andere slachtoffers van de Holocaust dan de Joodse slachtoffers. Het
blijft voor de Kroaten toch moeilijk te erkennen dat Roma en Orthodoxen
ook werden uitgemoord. Maar het is zeker een begin en de verwijzing
naar Jasenovac en de andere religies en volkeren laten het beste
Maar ondanks het feit dat het Vaticaan als waarnemer
aanwezig was op deze conferentie wijst niets erop dat de Vaticaanse
archieven over de banden met de ustacha worden opengesteld voor
wetenschappers. Hier blijft de huidige paus dus doofstom maar hij gaat
wel vrolijk door met zaligverklaringen van dubieuse figuren als
Stepinac en Pius XII. Kan iemand ons hierover een deftige uitleg
geven? Waarschijnlijk niet. In elk geval is de morele authoriteit
waarop het vaticaan en de katholieke kerk zich zo graag beroept ver te
zoeken en kunnen we gerust spreken over puur cynisme...
Hieronder vinden jullie de volledige tekst van de Verklaring van Theresiënstad:
hieronder vinden jullie de aanklacht van een aantal slachtoffers van
het ustacharegime in een poging om hun gestolen goederen terug te
krijgen. Deze aanklacht voor een Amerikaanse rechtbank dateert van 2008
en geeft een zeer gedetailleerde beschrijving van de goederen met namen
en alle gruwelijke details. Opvallend is weer de rol van het Vaticaan
in het ganse verhaal en zeker van de Franciskanerorde. Na deze
aanklacht had het vaticaan haar volledige medewerking kunnen geven
maart het bleef ijzig stil ...en werd dus gevolgd door de eerste stap
naar de heiligverklaring van Pius XII.
Het zal zelfs voor de grootste bewonderaar van deze paus Pius XII wel
overduidelijk zijn dat zijn rol, zeker wat betreft de ustacha-affaire,
niet al te zuiver kan genoemd worden. Misschien was er geen
rechtstreekse persoonlijke betrokkenheid, alhoewel hij Ante Pavelic
persoonlijk een aantal keren heeft ontvangen terwijl hij zeker en vast
perfect op de hoogte moet zijn geweest wat er in nazi-Kroatië op dat
moment gaande was. Als hoofd van het Vaticaan en van de katholieke kerk
en dus ook van de Franciskanen kan je toch moeilijk zeggen dat hij niks
met deze gruwelen te maken had? Ons kan het geen reet schelen dat
een kerk heiligen benoemt. Dat zal wel deel uitmaken van de religieuse
folklore die wij absoluut niet willen aanvallen alhoewel jullie wel
zullen vermoeden dat ons geloof niet op de zelfde waarden berust, maar
erg geloofwaardig kan je dergelijke folklore dus niet noemen als je de
feiten onder ogen houdt. Meestal gaan de verdedigers van Pius XII met
een grote boog rond deze ustachaperiode en vallen ze enkel en alleen
terug op de Joodse Holocaust binnen de gekende Duitse uitroeiïngskampen
en komen ze aanzetten met het feit dat Pius XII inderdaad een vrij
groot aantal Joden heeft in bescherming genomen in Italië. Je kan er
echter niet omheen dat niet het zelfde is gebeurd binnen de nieuwe
nazivazalstaat Kroatië in WOII. Van ons mag die man zo heilig worden
als een Indische koe maar wij wilden alleen dat bepaalde feiten niet
zouden worden vergeten. Hopelijk zijn jullie het hiermee eens... En morgen krijgen jullie nog een mooi verhaal, als toetje, over dat bijzondere bedevaartsoord Medjugorje...