Sunday, September 21, 2008

More mischief afoot!

Fr. Vlasic in the news again!

Fr. Tomislav Vlasic was one of the Franciscan priests who helped at Medjugorje for a short time in the early days.

Unfortunately his unconventional approach to things has got himself into regular troubles and he has now been the subject of disciplinary action by the Roman Catholic authorities.

His time at Medjugorje was short. Although high in profile, my own estimate is that his influence there has virtually disappeared over the years.

This recent disciplinary action has stirred up some trouble from those who seek any rumour or adverse report which might, or might not, have relevance to Medjugorje. The disciplinary action seems to have nothing to do with Medjugorje and everything to do with Fr. Vlasic's maverick approach, an approach I personally regard with much suspicion, and which, I repeat, has no relevance now. However the critics have latched onto the association, which was short, and are keen to stir up trouble.

My advice?

Ignore this and concentrate on what is actually being said officially, and note also what is not being said officially! We might start by looking at what the present Bishop of Mostar has advised.

He is of the opinion that nothing supernatural is happening there. However he has also been told not to make such comments as the matter of deciding whether anything supernatural has happened in Medjugorje is now in the hands of the Vatican. All bishops and prelates, presumably, have to wait for the decision. The Bishop of Mostar has a personal opinion which he does not hide. That is important but, in the present circumstances, should be regarded as a personal opinion, not an official pronouncement. The Vatican will decide.

The present Bishop of Mostar, has laid down excellent guidelines for the parish and the pilgrims, and made positive comments about the visionaries and about the importance of healthy Marian devotion. He is after all one of the best informed about Medjugorje matters. His views are worthy of respect even though we may differ from him in our conclusions or our general approach to what happens there.

So why do we have to put up with ill-informed and ill-willed comment from others than the Bishop? Sensible, evidence-based, criticism we all need so that our understanding can be improved as we discuss the criticisms, but simply slinging mud because we are sour-hearted individuals ... no thank you!

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