Pope Benedict to Schönborn: Be careful about Medjugorje
Rumors from the "Sacri Palazzi": the Pontiff calls Cardinal Schönborn into line: "More prudence about Medjugorje". The cardinal traveled there December 31.
VATICAN CITY – The Pope did not welcome the end-of-year visit to Medjugorje by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and his former student at university. According to word filtering out from the "Sacri Palazzi" (there has been no official statement on the subject), Benedict XVI has personally communicated with the Austrian cardinal, receiving him in audience a few days after the arguments sparked by the journey of the prominent prelate to the small village in Bosnia-Herzegovina in which six alleged seers have claimed to see the Madonna since the 1980s. The Bishop of Mostar (the diocese in which Medjugorje is located), Monsignor Ratko Peric — steadily convinced, like his predecessor, that the Virgin is absolutely not appearing in the village — lamented in an official note that he had not been warned by Schönborn in advance of his arrival. The Archbishop of Vienna, for his part, after having prayed and said Mass at Medjugorje on December 31, also expressed his favorable judgment on what is said to have happened there, and had one of the six alleged seers who claim to see and speak with the "Gospa" accompany him. Then, as the Holy See has not yet expressed itself on the apparitions and many Cardinals and Bishops have shown their skepticism on the authenticity of the apparitions, […rumor has it that…] Benedict XVI has therefore asked Schönborn for more prudence in statements relative to Medjugorje (the destination, this year, of millions of pilgrims), so that his presence there, as a member of the College of Cardinals, not be exploited by anyone to "authenticate" phenomena which the Holy See intends to monitor and analyze, besides the ordinary way, with an ad hoc Commission to whose guidance Cardinal Camillo Ruini will reportedly be called. The most recent Prince of the Church to express his own perplexity on the Medjugorje apparitions (in an interview in these pages) was the Cardinal José Saraiva Martins.
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