Max Domej from Gebetsktion Wien spoke to Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, Archbishop of Vienna, during his visit to Međugorje.
Both in Lourdes and Fatima the events first ceased and than Church had its decision about that. Its final decision. Sooner or later that will take place here as well, but in this case we let Mother of God with freedom of choice...I think that Medjugorje can continue well on their journey, with full trust that Church, Mother and Teacher, in this case, is going to continue to monitor their journey.
by Gianluca Barile for Petrus, www.papanews.it
VATICAN CITY - The alleged apparitions of Medjugorje continue to inspire debate and sustain polemics, within and without the Church. Thus the presence at New Year's of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, in the little Bosnia-Herzegovina locality, was only the most recent occasion to confirm the tension existing in the place where, since the 1980s, the Madonna is said to have appeared to six "seers".
Dear brothers and sisters here in the church and on the squares in front of the church, and in the yellow hall... We are all conscious of the fact that it is a big privilege to not have to celebrate the New Year with champagne. (laughter) Maybe later. (laughter and applause)
But now we are allowed to celebrate the beginning of the New Year with Mary and Joseph and with the child that is lying in the manger and with the shepherds.
From Vecernji List daily newspaper for Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
“Medjugorje is again in the center of attention, church and public as well. Though the visit of Cardinal Shonborn is private, it did not leave anybody indifferent because he is the member of Congregation for Doctrine of Faith. We talked to Cardinal while he was visiting Medjugorje.
Bruno Volpe spoke with Mons. Giovanni Battista Pichierri, Bishop of Trani, in Puglia, who declared, “I think that the prudent position of the Church on the topic is just and legitimate. The visionaries continue to speak, therefore, it is necessary to wait. But if the faithful are coming in such a great numbers, there must be a positive reason for it”.
During the year 2008, Fr. Juan-Carlos LISA spent ten months in Medjugorje. Shortly before going back to Argentina, he gave his testimony for Radio MIR Medjugorje and for Glasnik mira.
Mons. Bernardo Cazzaro, Servant of Mary, Archbishop Emeritus of Puerto Montt (Chile) spent the major part of his life as a missionary in Chile. At the end of its active episcopal service, he returned to Italy in order to help as a spiritual councillor and confessor in the Marian shrine Monte Berico.
In May 2007, during a pilgrimage to Medjugorje with a group from Vittorio Veneto, in an interview with Lidija Paris he expressed his impressions on Medjugorje.
Soon after the apparitions of the Queen of Peace began at Medjugorje, it came to the attention of the public that the Diocesan and Franciscan priests of the Mostar diocese did not agree on all issues. This quarrel had in fact broken out over one hundred years beforehand, and sadly, still continues today. At a local level, this discrepancy would not have been intensified had Mostar not been an area of intersecting cultures, faiths and civilizations. At a world-wide level, it wouldn't have been so controversial had Our Lady not appeared in one of it's parishes! Undoubtedly this argument affects the stance of the local Church and the Church in the whole of Croatia as regards Our Lady's apparitions. It is important to mention here that in the initial months of the apparitions the local Bishop, Pavao Zanic believed in the authenticity of Our Lady's apparitions and due to reasons, known only to himself, he altered his stance. Wishing to protect Episcopal comradeship, the bishops of the Church of Croatia have refrained from making public statements. Many other Church dignitaries have followed their example. However there have also been some significant exceptions.
On 25 August, Ivan visited Beauraing in Belgium where Mary appeared to 5 children for 33 times in 1932. Mass was celebrated by the Bishop of Namur, Msgr. Léonard. The following is from his eloquent homily.
"(...)Which are the churches that please the Lord? Crowded churches. He loves them, because a crowded church for the Lord is a prophecy of what will be at the end of time, when God’s Kingdom will be everything in everyone!
Some years ago when I was first a bishop in Louisiana, it must have been 1988, I was making my first "ad limina" visit to the Holy Father in Rome.
The other bishops of Louisiana were with me and, as what the custom of John Paul II, we were invited in to enjoy a lunch with him. There were eight of us at the table with him.
Soup was being served. Bishop Stanley Ott of Baton Rouge, La., who has since gone to God, asked the Holy Father: "Holy Father, what do you think of Medjugorje?"
Quite to the contrary, Mons. Paul Hnilica was a courageous witness in the Church of the extraordinary grace of that blessed land. In 1997 he addressed a letter to Medjugorje-inspired prayer groups, a part of which we publish here to synthesize the immense value of the event known as Medjugorje.
Bishop Hnilica – In all three places, Our Lady is inviting us to repentance, forgiveness and prayer. In this aspect of the message, these three apparitions are similar. However, the difference in Medjugorje is that the apparitions are lasting for 23 years now. The intensity of the continuation of the supernatural is neither declining nor diminishing during all these years, and the result is an even greater number of intellectuals that are converted here.
When, on the 24th-25th of June 1981, Our Lady's apparitions began in the parish of Medjugorje, in the diocese of Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje- Markanj, the bishop was Pavao Zanic (1971-1993). He was succeeded by dr. Ratko Peric.
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