I prefer to keep WDTPRS a fairly “Medjugorje Free Zone”. It’s all too strange for me, I’m afraid. That said, a while ago I had a note from someone declaring that if the Holy See gives approval to the Medjugorje “apparitions”,
“I will seriously take a step backwards from my Catholic Church. I am afraid that I cannot take this nonsense, and can no longer attend Mass. If it is approved.”
First, I don’t think there is any chance that the Medjugorje… I don’t know what to call it… phenomenon? … will obtain official approval.
Second, we are not bound to give assent of faith to messages or revelations delivered in apparitions. Approval or recognition from the Church gives us the freedom to accept them or not according as our lights and inclinations guide us. Leaving the Church because the Church gives approval to this or that apparition is short-sighted. Were the Church to ask (impossibly) you to believe that there are four persons of the Quaternity or that women can be ordained priests or that the Lord did not rise from the dead, then we might have a problem. But that won’t happen because the Church cannot teach errors about those things.
Were anything going on at Medjugorje to obtain some approval at some level, I would shrug and go about my day. Well… I might write a blog post about it and then add a note about Mystic Monk Coffee, a far more interesting topic.
With that, I bring you this weird story from CWN.
Cardinal Schönborn again hosts Medjugorje ‘seers’ in Vienna cathedral
November 17, 2011
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn celebrated Mass at Vienna’s cathedral of St. Stephen on November 17, as part of a televised event that included testimony from a Medjugorje “seer,” who promised an apparition of the Virgin Mary immediately before the Mass.Ivan Dragicevic, one of the “seers” who claim to have been receiving regular apparitions of the Virgin May for decades, spoke in the cathedral, in an event that was offered on live streaming video broadcast. The schedule called for an apparition at 6:40 pm, Vienna time. [?!?] Dragicevic said that the Mother of God would bless all those present—and that this blessing would extend to those watching the internet broadcast.
The event in the Vienna cathedral caused consternation among Catholics who have questioned the validity of the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje. Bishops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Medjugorje is located, have strongly discouraged interest in the “Medjugorje phenomenon.” Still the alleged seers have continued to make public appearances in Catholic churches around the world, with the apparent approval of other bishops.
Cardinal Schönborn has a history of showing support for the Medjugorje “seers.” Early in 2010, he was forced to apologize to Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar (the local diocese) for creating difficulties with his public expressions of support during a “private” visit to Medjugorje in December 2009. Later in the year, however, he welcomed the “seers” to Vienna and praised their efforts.
Last year the Vatican created a special commission to study the Medjugorje phenomenon, in response to pleas for a definitive statement from the Holy See on the alleged apparitions. The commission–chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the retired vicar of the Rome diocese—has held meetings and interviews but has not issued any public statement.