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More questions on Holy See's position on promotion of Medjugorje

By Diane M. Korzeniewski

I have a few more thoughts and questions with yesterday's news that the CDF informed the US bishops that, "clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such 'apparitions' would be taken for granted."

In the many years that I have been blogging on Medjugorje, one of my primary complaints has been the outward promotion of the phenomena as if it were already approved, especially on Church property. In parish churches, shrines, and even in diocesan cathedrals in some places in the US, in Italy, and abroad, Medjugorje visionaries had been given a platform not enjoyed anywhere in the whole of the former Yugoslavia. It had always been problematic for me - this sign of disunity, and the lack of collegiality, not just with the bishops of Mostar-Duvno, but with the entire bishops' conferences of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not even in neighboring Croatia are the Medjugorje visionaries given these kinds of liberties. Here in the US, some vocation directors have publicly promoted the alleged apparitions as authentic, giving their testimony at public gatherings, sometimes along side one of the visionaries who would have an alleged apparition at what I now call, "Standard Apparition Time."

My concern grew over the years as I watched visits by other bishops to Medjugorje get exploited, and used as a hammer to further erode the respect owed to the bishops over the local Church where all of this began. Lists were made on pilgrimage and promoter sites, as to which bishops supported Medjugorje by their visit (whether they went there as believers, or out of curiosity, or for some other reason).

Setting aside truly private, casual visits to another diocese, it's a matter of ecclesial etiquette that when a bishop is going to spend time in the diocese of another bishop, he call on him and make his presence known. Or, to even stop by and visit him. I've often wondered how many bishops visiting Medjugorje over the years have actually tried to talk to the bishops of Mostar. Or, were they taken in by calumnious content on pro-Medjugorje websites and portals, and the word of others, leading them to believe the Holy See was against the local bishops?

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