Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Pope Francis on Medjugorje?

Fr. Z has an article wherein he relates secondhand a fevorino given by Pope Francis last month on September 7, where he focused on private revelation placed before the Sacred Scripture and Tradition of the Church. The Catechism specifically teaches that these visions, locutions, and apparitions are meant to enlighten our understanding and expression of the deposit of faith, not to add to it. For instance, Our Lady of Fatima exhorted us to pray the Rosary, participate in the First Friday and Saturday devotion, and to pray for God's mercy to fall upon sinners so that the world might convert (in a nutshell).

The Gospel comes first! Salvation history moved towards God becoming incarnate, so that we might be redeemed. Here we primarily learn that God is Trinity, and St. John understands the Son to be the eternal Word made flesh. He also tells us God's essence, that of love in his epistle.

The Holy Father according to this article specifically mentioned the alleged sightings of Our Lady stemming from Medjugorje, with great reservation. No surprise if that's true. He loves Our Lady, and wants her to lead us to her Son. She doesn't sow seeds of division.

The bishop of Mostar issued a letter in which he outlines his position on the situation as of 2010 when the cardinal-archbishop of Vienna, His Eminence Cristoph Cardinal Schönborn visited without coordinating it with the local bishop. It's especially sensitive when a high-ranking prelate visits the schismatic parish because it's hard to distinguish between official pilgrimages and personal visits (the Viennese archbishop is always ambiguous...). Here in this homily the bishop basically said it's not real.

Crisis also has a great piece which highlights the disobedience and error found with the devotion to the alleged apparitions.

It's interesting that the Ordinary has been overruled by the bishops' conference. I doubt the Holy Father, Blessed John Paul; Benedict; and now Francis, would be pleased by this even if the bishop was not correct in his administration of parishes and religious life. Even if they decided to take their time and the bishop did not exactly like this approach. I also doubt that the Holy See takes kindly to the official pilgrimages led to the sight as if Our Lady appeared there and the Old Catholic deacon who administered Confirmation, though in their wisdom the schismatic bishops have refused to ordain Franciscans and others to the priesthood and consecrate them as bishops.

That being said, the Holy See has never disagreed per se with the local bishop no matter who it has been (who are in continuous agreement with each other, it seems) and has endorsed the declaration that nothing of supernatural origin can be discerned at this time. True. They're ongoing. But it still leaves open the declaration of no supernatural (or preternatural and demonic) origin which can be made at any time.

The commission established in Rome in 2010 may very well come out with a negative judgment. We should pray that the faith of Medjugorje-inspired converts doesn't rest on it as it seems to in some cases and that it rests on Christian teaching as preserved through the Church (which the Holy Father mentioned in the La Repubblica  interview).

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