May 1997: Diocesan Statement
Medjugorje: a Place of Religious
Disorder, Disobedience, and anti-Ecclesiastical Activity
On May 14th, three Bishops from Uganda came to
visit Medjugorje and from there went to visit Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar
(their former classmate from Rome) in order to inquire on the local Church's
position on the so-called events of Medjugorje. The undersigned was also
The Bishop gave his former classmates some documents, which clearly
show that from 1981 to 1991, three qualified Commissions in the service
of the local Bishop and the Bishops' Conference have investigated the events.
Ten years ago, in 1987, Bishop Pavao Zanic, formally and officially declared
that, in the parish of Medjugorje, the Madonna had not appeared to anyone.
In 1991, the Bishops' Conference did not only declare that the apparitions
were not authentic, but also stressed that: "It is impossible to confirm
that the events involve supernatural apparitions or revelations at all."
From 1981 onward, "messages of peace" have been sent out to the
world from Medjugorje. Yet in our local Church these messages include the
The Administration of the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, which
was punished in 1976, has from 1982, been given the further penalty of
being at the level of "ad instar," due to its unwillingness to
implement the decisions of the Holy See regarding pastoral services in
some of the parishes of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno.
Many churches have been built by the Franciscans through the help of
the faithful and the benefactors, which they blessed themselves, without
even informing the local Bishop, which goes against Canon Law and the charism
of St. Francis. A church in the parish, Ljuti Dolac, was blessed in this
way on April 23rd of this year. In Medjugorje itself, many ecclesiastic
buildings have been erected without any permission from proper Church authorities.
More than ten Franciscan priests do not have canonical faculties to
hear confessions in the Diocese of Herzegovina. Some due to their own fault,
while others, due to the fault of their Religious community which is not
fulfilling the Papal Decree.
More than forty Franciscans have not received the necessary faculties
to work pastorally in Herzegovina, yet they don't even bother with the
decisions of the legal Church authorities. Some of them are currently in
Many Religious communities are living and working in the parish of
Medjugorje without the permission of Church authorities, such as: "Beatitudes,"
"Kralijice, mira, potpuno tvoji," "Cenacolo," "Oasi
di pace," and "Franjevke pomocnice svecnika." Hence, Medjugorje
has become a place of Religious disorder, disobedience and anti-ecclesiastical
Last year, some "Catholic faithful," with the knowledge of
the Franciscans, built a brick wall over the entrance doors of the church
in Capljina and the Cathedral's affiliated church in Miljkovici. Two Franciscans
who are without canonical faculties for the parish of Capljina, are currently
working in the enclosed church. Everything they are doing is unlawful and
the marriages performed there are invalid!
Some of the Franciscans in Mostar are ignoring the legally-established
Cathedral church and the other four diocesan parishes in Mostar dedicated
to the four evangelists, while they continue to organize religious services
with the people on their own, against the specific decisions of the Holy
See and the Head of the Franciscan Order.
The Provincial "ad-instar" has, on many occasions, warned
his brothers in writing, that serious measures of the Franciscans' General
Administration are being considered for the entire Province due to their
In Medjugorje, the periodical "Glad mira" and "Press
Bulletin" are published without the necessary permission from Church
authorities. These same periodicals proclaim the "authenticity of
the apparitions" and speak of the "shrine"even through
no responsible Church statement has ever claimed "authenticity"
nor proclaimed any "shrine."
The counter-Church organization "Mir j dobro" (Pax et Bonum)
was allowed to borrow the shield and motto of the Franciscans, who have
not distanced themselves from their group's illegal activities, even when
this was asked of them.
Hence, these are some of the "fruits" of those who are using
Medjugorje to "sell shady peace" to the world, and who have hardened
themselves in their disobedience towards the Holy See and the Franciscan
. . .