The Remnant Press
10. A NEW BISHOP OF MOSTAR
Mgr. Zanic has resigned as Bishop of Mostar and was replaced by Mgr. Ratko Peric who had spent ten years in Rome as Rector of the Pontifical Croatian College in Rome. Rumors have been circulated that Mgr. Zanic was forced to resign by the Pope who did not approve of his intransigent opposition to the veracity of the Medjugorje apparitions. Had this been the case the Holy Father would have appointed a successor more open to the possibility of their veracity. On the contrary, Mgr. Peric is, if anything, more adamant concerning their falsity than was Mgr. Zanic. This should be more than adequate to make the position of the Pope clear. In the October 1993 issue of his diocesan journal, Crkva na Kamenu (The Church on the Rock), Mgr. Peric directed an open letter to St. Francis of Assisi in which he complains to the Saint that his spiritual sons, the Bosnian Franciscans, are quite disobedient. The same issue contains a long interview with the new bishop in which he makes it clear that his opposition to the false devotion is as great as or greater than that of Mgr. Zanic. A partial translation of the interview appeared in the February 1994 issue of Fidelity. Mgr. Peric testified that his predecessor had been open to the veracity of the apparitions in the beginning. He pointed out that Mgr. Zanic would evidently have been predisposed to believe in the alleged apparitions. He continued:
What bishop wouldn't be delighted that the Virgin Mary should be appearing in his diocese? Especially Mgr. Zanic, a very Marian bishop, who as a priest and later as a bishop made eleven pilgrimages to various Marian shrines all over Europe: Lourdes, Fatima, Syracuse, etc. And then for the Gospa (Our Lady) to have mercy on him and begin to "appear" in his own backyard as if to bring an end to all his wanderings all over Portugal.
But after a few months, when he heard the small fibs and large lies, insincerities, inexactitudes, and all sorts of fabricated stories from those who claimed that the Gospa was appearing to them, he became totally convinced that it was not a matter of supernatural apparitions of the Gospa. Then he started to bring out the truth and to expose the falsehoods. The greatest satisfaction of his ten years of hard work was when the bishops of Yugoslavia at their spring meeting at Zadar on April 10, 1991, dutifully declared: "On the basis of studies it cannot be affirmed that supernatural apparitions and revelations are occurring." This is an exceptionally clear ecclesiastical ruling, and is a rebuttal of the claims of all those who claim to have seen the Gospa everywhere and at any time since 1981.
The verdict of the Bishops' Conference is for me an authoritative instruction, responsive and binding unless another kind of verdict is brought. But until now there has been no other (ecclesiastical) judgment. If, after serious, solid, and professional investigation, our Bishops' Conference had the courage to declare that Medjugorje's apparitions are not supernatural, in spite of massive stories and convictions to the contrary, then that is a sign that the Church, even in the 20th century "upholds the truth and keeps it safe" (I Tim. 3:15). I affirm this unequivocally (my emphasis).
Two devastating critiques can be obtained from Brother James, S.D.B., SS Peter and Paul Church, 650 Filbert Street, San Francisco, CA 94133. They are Critique: Medjugorje and Brother Thomas, Doubter in Medjugorje. They cost $5 each postpaid.
Siviric, Dr. I, OFM (a Franciscan born in Medjugorje, and now living in the USA), The Hidden Side of Medjugorje, 400 pages, available from Editions Psilog, CP 300, Saint-François-du-Lac, Quebec, Canada, JOC IMO.
Important news items concerning Medjugorje will be reported as they take place in The Remnant, the bi-monthly journal which is essential reading for all traditionally minded Catholics. The subscription is $12 p.a. for the USA and $16 for all other countries (surface mail). Subscriptions must be sent in U.S. currency.
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