Cardinal Christoph Schonborn in “Vecernji List”, newspaper in Bosnia and Herzegovina

by admin on January 4, 2010

“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 a member of Congregation for Doctrine of Faith. We talked to Cardinal while he was visiting Medjugorje.

We came here to be close to our Lord’s mother, you said during the Christmas Eve Mass, your Eminence. These words had a great echo. We would like you to explain them?”

“We cannot deny that pilgrims have been coming over here for past 20 years, as we can not deny what they experience in Medjugorje and how close they feel to the Blessed Mother. This is my first visit, but since I’ve been a Bishop from 1991. I have noticed the fruits of Medjugorje.

“What kind of fruits are you talking about?”

“I will give you couple of examples: vocations calls for priesthood. Lots of our young priests have received their vocation call here, but not strictly in Medjugorje but because of Medjugorje. The second thing are conversions. I am impressed that that happens in every level of society, from noble families, industrials down to the common little people.

Flying from Vienna, via Zagreb to Split I was asked by security guard where I was going and I told him I was going to Medjugorje. All of Sudden his face started shining and he told me that he had his conversion in Medjugorje as well. Couple of weeks ago on one small railway station one worker told me his story. His wife died of cancer and he was desperate and his friends brought him to Medjugorje. He has received the strong and living faith over here.

The third evidence are the healings. A young man who was addicted to drugs told me that he was almost forced by his friends over here. He told me while the bus was entering Medjugorje something happened with him. Especially he was healed immediately and all of us know how long that healing lasts.

The fourth evidence are the prayer groups. I’ve known this Medjugorje Prayer Group from Vienna since the period when I wasn’t the Bishop. I’ve known them since 1980’s. To us Dominicans it was very meaningful that these people pray for hours and their church is always full. The Dominican churches in Vienna are rarely so full, on Thursday nights the church was always full. They stayed faithful to the prayer yet today. Jesus said that the bad tree doesn’t bare any fruits. Which means: if the fruits are good than the tree is good as well.”

“For pilgrims Medjugorje is a miracle and they expect a message from the Holy Seat until the Official Church would approve the supernaturalism of the Medjugorje events. It has been speculated for a period of time about the movements of Holy Seat. What do you know about this and what is your opinion about the demands to recognize Medjugorje?”

“I do not have detailed information about this matter and that is not my assignment .But I am standing to the statement made by Bishop’s Conference of Yugoslavia and Congregation for Doctrine of Faith of the Holy Seat. That statement for me has always been reasonable and smart. I will remind you about three statements made about Medjugorje. The first of all are phenomena. I am dogmatist and I was a professor of theological dogma. “Non constat de supernaturalitate.” - which means that Church hasn’t given the final judgment about supernaturality of phenomena and hasn’t given any statements. So it has never denied or confirmed.”

“This sounds a diplomatic answer, what this really means in the practice?”

“It simply means that church hasn’t given its final judgment and decision. I am personally convinced that this is correct. While these phenomena are still going on, the church is hardly going to give or make its final judgment and decision. These phenomena are the center of Medjugorje. It has started with the children who said that they saw Our Lady and the messages she gave through them. What has developed from that is the second phenomena which will be studied by the church on the second level. From the very beginning a huge number of pilgrims have been coming to Medjugorje. The intensive prayer life has developed here and many humanitarian organizations have been born here.”

“Church has divided the matter of Medjugorje from the pastoral work. But still a large number of pilgrims come over here. What position should we take about this matter?”

“The concrete ways of pilgrimages have been over here and that is a practical challenge for the church. That’s why the bishops from ex Yugoslavia said in 1991. that the official pilgrimages shouldn’t exist. I do not want and I cannot organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje in my diocese as we did to Rome or Holy Land. But the Bishops Conference or Rome have never forbidden pilgrims to come to Medjugorje which is the main part of the third statement.

For us Bishops, for me this is very important. The believers must get the pastoral care. As the Archbishop I see my homework in that. If I as a bishop see that in my diocese hundreds, thousands of believers convert, pray, heal than I as a Bishop must take care that all of them get that pastoral care. That’s why I supported all these things as for example community of the ‘Oasis of Peace’ , which was started because of Medjugorje. I think that all of this has influence on us bishops, especially those dioceses which pilgrims do come to Medjugorje and they need to get good pastoral care. So in all of those conversations I had with other bishops about Medjugorje I encouraged them to support their pilgrims.”

“You had meetings with visionaries, you climbed Apparition Hill. What do you say about this?”

“I would say ironically that Our Lady did not choose simple hills. I am fascinated with the coherence of Medjugorje to other Marian shrines, apparition sites. I always say that there is a grammar of Mary’s apparitions. That style has something special with Our Lady.”

“In what way is it connected?”

“There are 3 elements which are connected with this phenomenon. Almost always Our Lady appears to children. Those were not especially intelligent children or holy children but normal. Bernadette did not know how to write. She was 14 almost as children over here.

Secondly, Mary gives the messages through the children. It is insulting for one bishop. Why does Our Lady not come to the bishop’s house? Why does she come to a hill filled with stones or by the river? This is not practical. In Fatima she appeared in the bushes. She gives the messages through children because children are not complicated.

The third element: it looks like Our Lady has her own program. In Fatima she had appeared before Russian Revolution and she gave a message. When rationalism was on its highest level she appeared in Lourdes. She appeared in Yugoslavia in the moment when we did not have an idea that Yugoslavia would fall apart in the time when the Catholics, Muslims and orthodox were living together. She appears with the name Queen of Peace. 10 years after that the first of 4 wars on Balkan Peninsula brakes out. And her first message was peace through conversion, prayer and this first message has its weight, strength, credibility. Maybe we could go further to Guadalupe, Mexico. When Europe started invasion of America, Our Lady appeared to one Indian who had to go to his bishop to tell him what to do.

I think that theologians have to study the syntax of Mary’s apparitions and in that context to study the phenomena of Medjugorje.”

“Peace is prayed for in Medjugorje all the time but the political peace is not correct, the state is in problems and the Croats Catholics are in the worst position. What would you suggest to the International Community which is run now in this country by your co-citizen Valentin Inzko?”

“The problem over here is that too many countries are involved in this such a small country which that way cannot overcome these problems. Long lasting peace can be formed only if everything is just for everybody. This is a challenge for European policy. I am happy that Valentin Inxko is now in charge of Bosnia and Herzegovina and I expect that he gets a bigger support from the European community. I am sure that what is going on in Medjugorje supports that peace. And people from all over the world do come to this small Herzegovina which has never been known in the world, if I want to speak ironically. Look, how many Koreans come to Medjugorje! This is a hope that these people will be apostles of peace in their countries, peace which comes from Medjugorje. If it is prayed for peace in the world on one place, than that is a special blessing for one country. And Our Lady respects all three religions. Ortodox believers honor Our Lady, Islam doesn’t respect any other person that much, but Mary. For Croats Catholics who are minority in this country the apparitions among them are the great comfort.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

DENISE SIBILLY February 6, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I am a catholic and belief in my faith. I belief everything about Medjugorge and I pray that every person will come to accept the peace Our Lady Queen OF PEACE is giving to help them forgive themself and love themself and the world.
I visited Medjugorje in 2008, I felt invited and accepted I saw true belivers and I want to return to be present as Our Lady is calling us.
I want to be there I want to be with Jesus and Mary.
I love the article I read, I know it is true.

Peter Wary March 5, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Praise be Jesus Christ and Mother Mary
March 6, 2010

I am a Franciscan Brother from India belong to a congregation of brotherhood in the third order of Saint Francis, you will get our information if you go through our website. At present I am in Bangalore doing my study on formative spirituality and counseling for two years and it is getting over this month of March. Now I am going to look after aspirants by next month. From the moment I joined the congregation my only aim is to attain perfection, to become a great saint and this made to have a special devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and Mother Mary. I love Jesus and Mother Mary very much and therefore I want to know what Mother Mary is communicating through her apparitions. I was reading about Our Lady of Medjugorje, Marian apparitions in many different places in the world and collecting its messages. I felt tremendous joy after reading messages of Mother Mary of Medjugorje, I do believe Medjugorje message and it helped me to pray even more than before. I have already started Praying for the success of Medjugorje as well. I have never seen Medjugorje and nobody told me about it and it was totally unknown to me till February 22, 2010. I have read Many criticisms against Medjugorje as well as supporting messages to Medjugorje, now my interior tells that Medjugorje apparition is true. The spiritual director of St. Faustina tells that the work of God is marked by sufferings and challenges and it is always true we find it in the lives of saints, I don’t know any saint without suffering. Many saints received messages from God and that messages contain a special mission too. Because of these they had to suffer, for example our seraphic father St. Francis of Assisi received a message from God to repair the Church, because of this message St. Francis had to reduce himself to a beggar. Greater the message greater is the suffering! I hear all the visionaries of Medjugorje and those who are associated with them have been suffering from the beginning to till now and it is continuing. This is actually a great sign that this Medjugorje event is a great work of God. Actually suffering for God is a very great privilege and I personally feel to share this suffering of Medjugorje. Now I am planning and preparing to lead a Marian movement in North East India like Fr. Stefano Gobbi. Please do help me with your prayer.

thank you

your brother in Christ

Peter Wary March 11, 2010 at 11:08 am

Bro. Peter Wary
I love Jesus and Mother Mary very much and therefore I wanted to know what Mother Mary is communicating through her apparitions. I was reading about Our Lady of Medjugorje, Marian apparitions in many different places in the world and collecting its’ messages. I felt tremendous joy after reading messages of Mother Mary of Medjugorje, I do believe Medjugorje message and it helped me to pray even more than before. I have already started praying for the success of Medjugorje as well. I have never seen Medjugorje and nobody told me about it and it was totally unknown to me till February 22, 2010. I have read many criticisms against Medjugorje as well as supporting messages to Medjugorje in the internet. Medjugorje apparition is true and I did not find anything wrong with the messages of Medjugorje. Mother Mary invites all of us to celebrate mass, to go for confession, to receive Eucharist and pray rosary everyday all these are very much part of the Catholic Church.

manny July 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I have been to medjugorje six times and have had differnt experience each time, though just as spirtualy fulfilling, but what amazes me is how six children from an atheistic communist run country had the courage stand their ground against their government police and some branches of their church untill their country is no longer under communist rule and 30 years later medjugorje has become a place where millions of pilgrims are witness to a benevelent christian spiritual experience brought about by the daily appiritions of our lady queen of peace which is still happening after all these years.

Then you hear that cardinals and bishops can only come as pilgrims who dont have that courage to go back to rome and witness or ask why they cant go in their official capacity Imay be naieve as an ordinary catholic and would assume that is their duty to be there in their official capacty, I see a similarity between rome and the sanhedran why are they dragging their heels surely the cant sit on the fence for ever

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