By Snježana Majdandžić-Gladić
Some truths are so sacred that one cannot remain silent before them or allow them to ever be distorted. Never and by no means. Consequently, there are also some individuals, unfortunately fewer and fewer in our times, who clearly recognize this Truth and who are ready, if necessary, to even die for it. On the other hand – there are lies that are so dangerous that they cannot be tolerated and one should never ever remain silent before them.
In times when obvious lies and scams are presented as the truth, and the truth as falsehood, for the uninformed it is not easy to perceive or understand, let alone distinguish what is what. One such seriously confusing situation can be seen in the analysis of the so-called Medjugorje phenomenon, in which one can observe three fundamental views regarding what has happened in that village of Herzegovina from 24 June 1981 to the present. On the one hand, there exists a complete rejection of the credibility of Our Lady’s apparitions and their being marked as false; on the other hand, the unquestioning acceptance of everything served to the public through the mouths of the (alleged) seers, while the third is total or almost total disinterest in everything that is happening there.
In ideal circumstances, which would not have unforeseeable consequences if one were to remain silent, the third view, i.e., disinterest in the Medjugorje phenomenon would itself be quite natural and justified, since the traditional teachings of the Church explain that private revelations do not oblige anyone. Hence, all that we require for salvation has already been revealed. No one can therefore be mistaken or sin, insomuch that he claims, for instance, that he does not believe that Our Lady has appeared, or is appearing in Medjugorje. Yet on the other hand – once again in ideal circumstances – one would probably not be mistaken or sin, if one were to believe in such apparitions, even if they were not authentic, if they truly contributed to his or her general devotion and strengthening in the faith. This would be similar to the many medieval legends written on the lives of the saints, which were from an historical point of view untrue, however, through literary forms of exaggeration essentially encouraged the faithful towards spiritual growth and thereby succeeded quite well. The proponents of the Medjugorje phenomenon like to emphasize such alleged fruits regarding the general strengthening of the faith. Lately it is increasingly being emphasized that it is not very important whether the Madonna has appeared or not, as much as it is important that the faith of the people is strengthened. Consequently, banning the Medjugorje Gospa – (Gospa is Croatian term for Our Lady) would do more harm than good. Therefore, the whole question has been transferred from the dogmatic to the pastoral level.
However, the Medjugorje phenomenon is a much deeper issue, because the second view – the glorification of the Queen of Peace – for the past 36 years has been and still is being imposed on the public as the only correct view. This view ignores the discretion of the Church’s official investigation and sharply opposes anyone who would even try to address any eventual lies regarding Medjugorje. To this effect, the late Bishop of Mostar-Duvno, Pavao Žanić and his associates in the past, as well as the current Bishop Ratko Perić with his close associates have been particularly under attack. Allow us at the beginning of this reflection to state that to us, the said second view does not seem to be honest or ecclesial. It is particularly not humble or in accord with the selflessness traditionally attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which has shaped the two thousand year old history of devotion to the Mother of Christ and our Mother within the Catholic Church.
The problem is that this view is more accessible in the media and uncritically accepted by not only the broadest domestic but also the worldwide public. Yet the rational, substantiated, detailed, documented and persistent multifaceted proofs of the two above-mentioned bishops of Mostar-Duvno, their Vicar Generals, Chancellors and other priests and lay faithful who hold to the Truth in their hearts, do not receive sufficient public media attention. They are more or less limited to the websites of the Dioceses of Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkan and the diocesan monthly Crkva na kamenu (Church on the Rock), and possibly on some rare texts of individuals who are prepared to critically wrestle with the Medjugorje phenomenon.
The individual who for instance, decides to study all that is available on the alleged apparitions of the Madonna on the aforementioned diocesan website, will remain literally surprised and dumbfounded by the readiness of the proponents of the Medjugorje phenomenon to lie and deceive. Yet at the same time astonished by the persistence and consistency of those who despite every imposing and provocatively troubling situation, are trying with all their strength to unmask such lies, remaining faithful all the while in their devotion to the Mother of God and the teachings of the Catholic Church. These arguments, which on a one-by-one basis, directly oppose the claims of the proponents of the Medjugorje phenomenon and defend Our Lady as well as the entire Catholic Church from the false Gospa, in our opinion appear undeniable, especially because, as far as we have noticed, nobody has been able to objectively refute them even in the smallest detail. Therefore, for every person of goodwill who seeks Divine Truth, we recommend that you carefully read the three available books: Hercegovačka afera (The Herzegovinian Affair), Istina će vas osloboditi (The Truth will set you free) and Ogledalo pravde (The Mirror of Justice), as well as the section entitled “The Medjugorje phenomenon”. We also remind anyone who may doubt the good intentions of Bishop Ratko Perić and hold that his arguments show a lack of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (these types of criticisms have also unfortunately been cast by his opponents), that he lectured in the past on Mariology at the Catholic Theological Faculty in Sarajevo. He is also the author of several Marian studies that clearly show his heartfelt concern for healthy devotion to the Mother of God. Amongst these works, we especially recommend the book entitled Prijestolje Mudrosti (The Seat of Wisdom). In addition, anyone who knows the character and works of Bishop Perić can clearly understand that he, beyond any doubt, belongs to those few who hold the Truth so holy that for them there exists no other option except to defend it at all costs. In other words, in view of the attacks on Bishop Perić (and similarly to those against his predecessor Žanić), one can truly apply the statement: If it were not sad, it would be ridiculous!
Before engaging upon some of the particularly troublesome points of the Medjugorje phenomenon, we want to emphasize that every article on this website has the name and surname of the proper author, which means that everything written in this text are the personal reflections of the undersigned author. The other collaborators do not necessarily have to agree with them, which is likewise true for all the other authors and texts published here. This reflection, as already indicated, is based upon – in our opinion – the excellent argumentation and documentation of the three aforementioned books, available on the website of the Dioceses of Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkan, and in other public statements and revelations of Bishop Ratko Perić and his associates. Everything that can be read there is so serious and fateful, not only for the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno, or solely for the Catholic Church in Bosnia-Herzegovina or in Croatia, but for the entire Catholic Church. This is because the Medjugorje phenomenon has taken on world proportions and is based upon the seriousness of the adage: A lie can travel halfway around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Thus, the particular issue of the Medjugorje phenomenon lies in the fact that it is the source of a new and not quite orthodox devotion. This is expanding and its main protagonists quite often show a lack of humility, patience and obedience by living under the protection of intense media bullying. Like Zealots, they combatively oppose anyone who places the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje into question or who calls for discretion until the Holy See issues its judgment. What is most distressing, lies in the fact that this devotion has absolutely nothing in common with the traditional worship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the humble servant of God who completely submitted herself to God’s holy will regarding the salvation of the world through the Fruit of her womb. Instead it makes a caricature of the Mother of Christ and our Mother who has been appearing daily now for 36 years, not only in Medjugorje, but is subordinating herself to the visionaries and following them wherever they go, thereby reaching 47,000 apparitions, yet all this time she has not mentioned a single truly important and new message. Meanwhile, there exist a multitude of doubtful and inappropriate messages and behaviors.
It is precisely this kind of disrespect for the Blessed Virgin Mary, which stands at the core of the Medjugorje phenomenon that demands that it not be silenced, but that the Truth be shouted from the rooftops. In this respect, this article is only a small sign of solidarity and support for those who have been persistent from the first beginnings to this very day, especially with Bishop Ratko Perić. In this complex situation, he seems to us to be like St. Athanasius, who had to flee persecution five times from the forays of the heretic Arians and the philo-Arianists, through methods of action very similar to the Medjugorje zealots, yet who due to his perseverance became referred to as the “Father of orthodoxy” and the “pillar of the Church”. But as Arianism was only one episode in the history of the early Church out of which it came out only stronger and more faithful to God, we believe that the Church will experience a similar purification through the current Medjugorje episode, which is confirmed by the evangelical words that the gates of hell shall not prevail over it.
Franciscan disobedience as the basis of the Medjugorje phenomenon
The Medjugorje phenomenon historically emerged from the difficult and scandalous pastoral circumstances perfectly described in the book by Marko Perić – Hercegovačka afera (The Herzegovinian Affair). Its beginnings go back to the times of the Turks, when a large portion of the Catholic population along with its priests fled from the Ottomans to the northern Croatian and Hungarian territories, while the Franciscans took over the pastoral ministry of the remaining believers. On the one hand, the Franciscans deserve true recognition, for they lived, worked and made many sacrifices in unsafe circumstances, and they often had to endure various tortures and were killed. On the other hand however, it must be said that they also adapted very quickly. Through varied scheming and a specific type of collaboration with the Turks, they managed to gain a great deal of privileges from the Ottomans, as well as from the Holy See, which allowed them fairly free activity and to vent upon the remaining diocesan priests, whom they denied the right to their pastoral ministry.
The problems are multifaceted, but it seems particularly important for us to emphasize that religious congregations in general, and this goes for the Franciscans as well, through their charisms are necessarily directed to the building up of their personal prayer and spiritual life, accompanied by asceticism, denials and work, all in communion with their confreres, living in convents. Meanwhile, the diocesan priests or so-called secular clergy as they are also known, are more focused on greater active pastoral ministry with the faithful. Hence, these Franciscan Friars entered into an unnatural situation in which due to the local circumstances, they basically lost their contemplative dimension and took on what usually belonged to the diocesan priests. Moreover, they wanted to retain this even after the liberation from the Ottoman Turks when a regular Church hierarchy was re-established along with a regular pastoral ministry. Two more things should be mentioned, that is, in the background of all their actions there primarily stood material reasons, because the parishes meant financial gain, and therefore they refused obedience to the bishops, even though the bishops came mostly from the Franciscan Order. Indeed, more often than not, they also refused obedience to their own religious superior, thereby literally becoming a Church within the Church. Although the Holy See through various measures repeatedly tried to resolve this unhealthy situation to enable the bishops to have their own diocesan clergy, which would be directly subjected to them; even though it proposed a more than fair division of the parishes between the diocesan clergy and the Franciscans (in which the Franciscans still held 2/3 of parishes), she still encountered stubborn disobedience. The decelerating factor in establishing a regular Church hierarchical authority was largely due to the fact that during the Turkish period, the Holy See itself endowed the Franciscans with many privileges, and later it became incoherent and subordinated itself to the Franciscan loquaciousness, rebuking its own decrees.
After several centuries of tensions understood in the broad sense, the Holy See finally wished to end this farce with its Decree Romanis Pontificibus of 6 June 1975, according to which the parishes should be divided between the Franciscans and the diocesan clergy through a fair 50/50 division according to the number of faithful. After all said thus far, one need not be reminded that this decree, even though still in force today, has been outmaneuvered by the Franciscans in many respects and that in practice it has never been fully been implemented. The Franciscans thus continue to claim for themselves their rights to some parishes that were supposed to be diocesan.
The problem of the whole affair, apparently stems from a twisted and fanatical logic that has passed on from generation to generation, both among the Franciscans and the faithful they are ministering. An objective and impartial interpreter of the events could easily conclude that throughout this saga the Herzegovinian Franciscans have ignored the charism and the vows that St. Francis left them in his legacy, especially poverty and obedience. By doing so, they have significantly deviated from and undermined the ecclesiological value of the Church and the meaning of their religious mission. Yet in all this, they actually see their exalted and messianic task, believing that if they did not do what they are doing, the world and the Church would fall apart. Thus, they even justify in Machiavellian fashion, every means used, regardless of the fact that they are usually unjust and based on pure worldliness and disobedience, in order to achieve their set goals.
This disobedience and such strong attachment to the material rather than spiritual, along with such messianic fanaticism are found in the very foundations of the Medjugorje phenomenon and together with the aforementioned distorted piety, continue to increase amongst many of those who follow them.
Lies and disobedience follow the Medjugorje phenomenon from the beginning
Even though there exist a vast number of lies and manipulations of the truth by those who claim that the Madonna has appeared to them or who present these so-called apparitions as truthful, as evidenced by the book Ogledalo pravde (Mirror of Justice), which was edited by the then priest of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno and the present-day Bishop of Poreč-Pula Msgr. Dražen Kutleša, we immediately wish to point out a minor detail, yet a very significant one. This regards the first inquiry of the visionaries carried out by Bishop Pavao Žanić. He was a sincere devotee of the Blessed Virgin Mary, initially very good-willed and open to the possibilities of true apparitions of the Madonna. The inquiry showed that the “visionaries”, despite the fact that they had allegedly met with the supernatural, which invokes in everyone’s mind the necessity of wearing a new man and of rejecting every vice, and also that they have previously sworn an oath on the cross to speak the truth, they were ready to lie, even to the bishop himself. Thus, the visionary Mirjana (Dragićević) upon the bishop’s request to describe the apparition, began with a fictitious and somewhat legendary story that reminds us of the already well-known apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the assertion that the girls went looking for sheep. Meanwhile, they were actually hiding from their parents and they went to smoke and admitted this after the bishop’s reaction that he already knew the truth about it (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p. 41). Moreover, on tapes later recorded, Mirjana continued to repeat the same falsehood (p. 42). We therefore justifiably ask ourselves, not only on the basis of this event, but also on many others from the lives of seers and others directly related to the Medjugorje phenomenon: is it truly possible that someone can see and experience such a sublime supernatural experience and that this does not affect them at all in a moral sense? It is difficult for us to believe in such a possibility.
An even greater problem is noticeable in the countless mix-ups regarding the lies of the alleged seers as well as the Franciscans, who have been pastorally ministering in the Medjugorje parish, regarding the existence and credibility of the chronicles and diaries that supposedly followed and recorded the apparitions. In his very detailed book Istina će vas osloboditi (The Truth will set you free) substantiated with evidence, Fr. Nikola Bulat clearly points out that the visionaries – who were then children or teenagers – were under the direct influence of the Franciscans and thereby instrumentalized in order to attain the above-mentioned pretensions on the diocesan parishes. The existence of the so-called “Chronicles of the apparitions”, written by Fr. Tomislav Vlašić OFM support this notion. At the outset of the apparitions, he was associate pastor in Čapljina and on 18 August 1981, independently transferred himself to Medjugorje without the bishop’s knowledge and approval, and became the spiritual leader of seers, who he for whatever reasons, questioned on 29 June, six days after the first apparition. He allegedly led a daily or almost daily chronicle of the apparitions starting on 11 August 1981, in which he recorded what the children experienced on certain days. However, due to a larger number of oversights, such as notes on events that did not happen on that day but later, and even much later, it is clear that the Chronicle, as Bulat proves, was not written at the time indicated in Chronicle but later. Moreover, the introduction of the Chronicle dates from 25 February 1982, and it is thereby understandable and very likely that Fr. Vlašić had just started writing then. Practically eight months after the beginning of alleged apparitions. This fact speaks enough for itself and promptly puts into question the credibility of the Medjugorje phenomenon.
But even more, the entries in the Chronicle show a disturbing level of manipulation of the children and a literal exploitation of the Madonna for the Franciscan pretensions because they abound, especially in the first period, with direct so-called messages from the Madonna on the Franciscans’ righteousness and the injustice and neglect of Bishop Pavao Žanic. Thus, the ‘Gospa’ became nothing more or less than an arbitrator between the bishop and the two young friars – Fr. Ivica Vego and Fr. Ivan Prusina. These two were chaplains in the newly founded Mostar Cathedral parish, which according to the decree of the Holy See – Romanis Pontificibus, belonged to the diocesan clergy, yet they did not accept it, but instead obstructed normal ministry, and for this reason they were forbidden to perform priestly duties and were dismissed from the Order of the Friars Minor. This happened towards the end of January 1982. The Gospa of course, according to the pen of Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, defended the two disobedient priests, arguing that they are not guilty of anything and that Bishop Žanić is the guiltiest one, and that they need not worry for he will not be bishop forever. That is, the Gospa will show him justice in the kingdom (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p.76).
The threat to the bishop and taking sides with the disobedient Franciscans should be a clear enough sign to every person of goodwill that the Medjugorje phenomenon is a simple farce, an excellent scheme by which the Franciscans were to grab parishes that do not belong to them. Yet unfortunately, the spreading of the Medjugorje devotion is a signal that this is still not clear to many people even to this day.
Along with this, the so-called Medjugorje fruits card is played often, which emphasizes that many people in Medjugorje have had supernatural experiences and converted. Perhaps it would be blasphemous to contradict such claims according to which it seems that only Medjugorje can save the world. However, we must say that we have not seen any of these fruits. Although we know many people who have visited Medjugorje, we have not noticed in any of them even the slightest change in their lives for the better. Yet amongst these same people, we have noticed some who no longer go to holy mass in their parish because there is no Holy Spirit there for them, as opposed to Medjugorje. Therefore, may we be allowed to reject this argument which is most insisted upon as unfounded, even though there are surely some good fruits in that direction.
On the contrary, we can see a large variety of fruits with negative markings, and here we will list only a few. Firstly, there is the aforementioned associate pastor of Medjugorje – Fr. Tomislav Vlašić. After repeated requests to him by Bishop Žanić to hand over the Chronicle of apparitions in order for the members of the Commission to assess the authenticity of the apparitions and to bring a judgement on them, he only gave the bishop a photocopy of the document in mid-November 1983, about half a year after the initial request. Subsequently, as explained well by Nikola Bulat, who was one of the members of the Second Commission studying the Medjugorje Events (Istina će vas osloboditi – The Truth will set you free, p. 26 and further), this Chronicle was partially altered, or copied. In some places its content was softened, because the “original” contained blasphemous threats by the “Gospa” to Bishop Žanić.
Similar lies were spread with regard to other diaries and documents of the visionaries. The three (or four) diaries attributed to the visionary Vicka Ivanković, the main visionary, are particularly significant, even though she only wrote the third, by far the most meager one and with regard to the investigation on the Medjugorje phenomenon also quite uninteresting. These diaries are usually marked as Vicka’s First Diary (covering the alleged apparitions from 24 June to 9 September 1981); Vicka’s Second Diary (covering the alleged apparitions from 12 October to 14 December 1981) and the Vicka’s Third Diary (covering the period from 6 February to 25 March 1982). A detailed analysis concluded that the seer Vicka, had nothing to do with the first two, which she herself repeatedly acknowledged, but that her sisters wrote these even though they are still attributed to her. Moreover, similar clumsiness and inconsistencies, such as those presented in the Chronicle of the apparitions by Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, apply to these diaries as well, because there is a great deal of inaccuracy and discrepancy between the actual facts. The biggest problem is Vicka’s so-called Second diary, which Nikola Bulat through a detailed analysis proves as having been transcribed from Vlašić’s Chronicle of the apparitions (see Istina će vas osloboditi – The Truth will set you free, pp. 40-48). We remind the reader that Vlašić probably began writing the Chronicle of the appearances only in late February 1982. This means that this “Diary” of Vicka had to come about even later, and not at the time it was claimed. In other words, both the Chronicle and “Vicka’s” First and Second Diaries are not credible documents, but they came about when somebody needed them, and for quite specific needs.
Vicka’s Third Diary is completely irrelevant because it is so unreliable and confusing that it only contains the first 8 days correctly recorded, while all the other days do not even match the dates with the days of the week. Such omissions could not happen to anyone truly writing a diary on the same day and date. And it would be practically impossible to make certain mistakes such as, that on the Wednesday of Holy Week one would write that its (Good) Friday, as entered in Vicka’s Third Diary. This is a clear sign that neither this diary nor the previous two were written as indicated, and that the whole content, as well as the contents of Vlašić’s Chronicle, are subordinated to Franciscan interests.
Vicka’s hidden Fourth Diary presents a distinct problem. It is a diary that Vicka in a letter to bishop Žanić claims to have been writing since the beginning of the apparitions, yet on another occasion she said that it does not exist and never has. Similarly, Fr. Tomislav Vlašić claims that it exists and then he swears on the Cross, that he never held it in his hands (see Istina će vas osloboditi – The Truth will set you free, pp. 64-65). After being caught lying, he then claimed that he did not say that he never saw it, but that he did not hold it in his hands. Whatever the case may be, Vicka’s secret diary remains hidden to both the bishop and the Commission, even though it very likely exists. This is because the Slovenian Jesuit, Father Radogost Grafenauer, who expressed his wish to Bishop Žanić and received permission from him to investigate the Medjugorje phenomenon, delivered 14 excerpts to the bishop on messages the Madonna allegedly gave to the two above-mentioned disobedient chaplains, and these were not entered neither in Vlašić’s Chronicle nor in Vicka’s three diaries.
These and many other controversial situations and statements can be read with detailed analysis and documentation in the three books mentioned on the web pages of the Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkan dioceses, which clearly show that from the beginning, the Medjugorje phenomenon has been characterized by a numerous contradictions, lies, cover-ups and manipulations. It seems to us therefore, since we do not see any single argument that would truly lean towards any credibility of the apparitions, one can freely conclude with bishops Žanić and Perić, that the Medjugorje phenomenon is simply being instrumentalized towards achieving the stated goals of the Herzegovinian Franciscans. We repeat once again, that it is impossible for us to imagine that anyone could remain spiritually and morally immune to an exalted revelation of the Mother of God, or that after such supernatural meetings one would be ready to twist or hide the truth and not radically change his/her life and devote oneself to God. The biographies of the visionaries and those of many others more directly related to the so-called apparitions, are not even close to the biographies of other well-known visionaries of revelations approved by the Church, all of whom devoted their lives to God, while here, at least on the outside, one can see more material than spiritual elements present.
The fascination with the Medjugorje phenomenon and its consequences
In spite of this, one must acknowledge an interesting phenomenon regarding the events of Medjugorje, that for some reason, individuals have been so fascinated with the Medjugorje ‘Gospa’ that they simply ignored the rational reasons that did not support it, but were willing to manipulate and lie for the purpose of promoting the Queen of Peace. One can take for example, the case of the Slovenian Jesuit priest, Fr. Radogost Grafenauer, who for some reason showed interest in the Medjugorje phenomenon and indirectly asked Bishop Žanić to allow him to be acquainted with it. Initially, after listening to the tapes, he concluded that the Madonna did not appear there. However, soon after receiving enlightenment from Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, and after their fasting together and prayer that the Holy Spirit give them the grace of the discernment of spirits, he then concluded that the Madonna did in fact appear in Medjugorje and that this is undoubtable. Afterwards, he behaved like one of the visionaries and the others associated with the alleged apparitions. That is, he was ready to remain silent or twist the truth where it would have been necessary to say it clearly. His beliefs were primarily based on Vlašić’s Chronicle of the apparitions and the seers’ Diaries, which he considered completely credible, despite the fact that Nikola Bulat showed and proved that they were not credible at all.
The same can be similarly said of the late Archbishop of Split-Makarska, Frane Franić, who himself claimed to have experienced an apparition of the Madonna in Medjugorje and rejected any criticism. Then also, the famous French Marianologist, Father René Laurentin, who through his uncritical and non-objective writings promoted the Medjugorje Gospa at the world level and thereby became the one most responsible for the spreading of the falsehoods. In addition, the same can be said for certain priests and believers who have subordinated that which is objective to the subjective. One here can simply see present in many, the above-mentioned fanaticism and an a prior rejection of the arguments that question the Medjugorje phenomenon, and all of this due to a personal conviction in the knowledge of the truth and the grace of the Holy Spirit, which ensures them with the discernment of spirits. For them, there simply exists no objective argument, because they know, and they know it because either directly or in the heart, the “Gospa” has told them.
In this light, what concerns us is particularly problematic regarding priestly and religious vocations, more specifically, the fact that a certain number of today’s priests and religious owe their calling to the Medjugorje phenomenon, i.e., they claim that they experienced a conversion there and discovered in themselves the desire to serve God more directly. If their vocation is based on lies, and everything seems to indicate so, we truly wonder how to look upon their priestly ministry and the significance of their religious vows, especially when in such cases one can also often notice a fanatical and gnostic approach to faith. These individuals are usually very exposed in the media and their charismatic qualities, at least what is seen in public, are more often shown with them holding a microphone, rather than a crucifix, a breviary or a rosary. The internet is full of them and with their so-called charismatic gifts, they are literally misleading the masses, drawing them out from the natural environment of their parishes into strange and abnormal groups, so that they can channel the Holy Spirit to them like some gurus. In these assemblies it seems natural to have the laying on of hands, with even the laity doing the same, that strange prayers of ousting or healing of the family tree are said, that the sacrament of the sick is administered even to those who do not need it, i.e., the healthy, etc. And convinced in all of this, that they have the graces that others do not have, or rather, that they have a monopoly on the Truth.
Do we need to point out that in the background of all this there exists a similar fanaticism and messianism as with the Herzegovinian Franciscans, that is, the conviction that if they do not do what they are doing the Church and the whole world would perish? Do we need to recall that here too, the front-runners are predominantly religious (mostly Franciscans and Jesuits, but others as well), who, like the Franciscans of Hercegovina, have abandoned contemplative religious life in a convent in order to dedicate themselves to humanistic horizontal Christianity? It is understandable then, that they will regularly ignore not only anyone who tries to say this as an observer, but they will also show disobedience to the bishops and to the Holy See if need be, because it is impossible for them to perceive their own mistakes and to realize that their actions are very detrimental to the Church. For them the saying who is not for us, is against us, can be applied, and therefore, with such types there can be little agreement of quality.
In this respect, one can understand the fact that in the past 36 years, a large number of Herzegovinian Franciscans – due to their widespread disobedience – have been (or are) deprived of their canonical faculties to hear confessions or for pastoral ministry. However, they do not even refer to the legitimate authority of the bishop, neither to the decisions of their own Provincial superior nor to the decisions of the Holy See. Instead, they continue to work in the parishes, including in Medjugorje, conducting themselves according to their self-righteousness. Only God knows how many invalid marriages have been contracted in such fashion, how many sacrilegious and invalid confessions, blasphemous holy masses and other sacraments have been celebrated. How far they are willing to go in their disobedience can also be witnessed by the fact that in Čapljina in 1997, Fr. Stanko Pavlović OFM, acting as an unknown bishop, and then in Grude in 2004, without hiding his identity, illegitimately and invalidly administered the sacrament of confirmation. This is similar to the case that happened in Grude in 2001, when the Franciscans, while trying to avoid administering confirmation invalidly, called upon a non-Catholic to do so believing that he was bishop, which this individual did, during which he presided at a blasphemous Mass. Later on it was revealed, that he was just an Old-Catholic deacon. Moreover, in the past, some Franciscans had travelled to Switzerland to meet with an Old-Catholic bishop to request that he ordain one of them a “secret bishop”. Fortunately, the bishop refused. (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p. 300).
This disobedience also applies to Medjugorje. It is worth noting that a number of religious communities are present in the village without the permission of the bishop, while the number of various religious organizations and projects that flourish there is unknown. In this regard, we only wish to mention the International Youth Festival – “Mladifest”, which without the permission of the proper Church authorities, takes place every year from 1 to 6 August. Tens of thousands of young people come from all over the world and in their own way spread the Medjugorje devotion.
Seeing these bitter fruits of the Medjugorje phenomenon we can only with deep sorrow repeat the words of the late Bishop Žanić, who during the confirmation in Medjugorje in 1987 cried out: “Oh my Lady, what are they doing to you!” (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p. 134).
And what they are doing to Our Lady is best shown on the one hand, by the very messages of the alleged apparitions, while on the other, by the lives of those intimately linked to the Medjugorje phenomenon. It is therefore not superfluous to mention a word on this.
The “Gospa” of Medjugorje has disqualified herself
We have already mentioned that even though the “Gospa” of Medjugorje has allegedly appeared tens of thousands of times, in reality she has not said a single message of importance. Everything can be summarized in the sentence: Pray, fast and do penance. Fasting, prayer and penance should of course be an integral part of Christian life, and it follows that anyone trying to live a life pleasing to God will follow these counsels with no need for any special supernatural support.
Apart from these general messages, it is worthwhile to note the myriad of strange and inappropriate ones that supposedly have come out of the mouth of the Mother of God. Besides repeating what was mentioned earlier that the Medjugorje “Gospa” initially took sides with the two disobedient Franciscans and she threatened bishop Žanić that she would show him justice in the kingdom of God, it should be noted for instance, that during some apparitions she was laughing inappropriately; that she appeared in grey dress which has never been recorded in the history of all the apparitions in the Catholic Church; that she allowed the visionaries to touch her and step on her veil; that they could talk with her as with a neighbor while drinking coffee; that she answered their bizarre questions on such things as building a hotel and business decisions; that she gave incorrect answers, that is, when a certain patient would be healed and then that person soon died; that she once said at the beginning of the so-called apparitions that they would end after three days and that the visionaries would get special secrets, but then they continued daily up to this day, while the secrets have still not yet been revealed, even though some visionaries apparently received them, etc. Moreover, on one occasion the “Gospa” of Medjugorje sang to herself the liturgical song Kraljice svete krunice – Queen of the Holy Rosary (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p. 116), while on another occasion, she said that she does not possess all graces, but only those that she prayers for to God (Istina će vas osloboditi – The Truth will set you free, pp. 93-94). We can similarly remain scandalized by the alleged statements of the “Gospa” that all religions are the same (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p. 135), for by this she is making herself irrelevant as well as all of Christianity and the Catholic Church. Not to mention that the “Gospa” from the beginning has subordinated herself to the seers’ wishes, and therefore appears where they want, obediently following them all over the world. The same scandalous elements relate to the statement that the “Gospa” regularly thanks the visionaries for deigning themselves to come to the apparitions, as well as many other things, which can be read in detail in the books Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice and Istina će vas osloboditi – The Truth will set you free.
In other words, there is nothing in these apparitions that would point to the supernatural life, which would truly encourage vertical Christianity, reflection on Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, on true spiritual life, on the strengthening of true faith, on devotion to the Mother of God. Instead, it is all reduced to the earthly dimension and instrumentalized for the goals that have been stated several times.
The biographies of the visionaries and others tied to the Medjugorje phenomenon do not support the credibility of the apparitions
The actual level of worldliness present in all of this can be seen in the lives of the visionaries and others associated with the Medjugorje phenomenon, who all have in common – at least according to what can be observed in public – that in essence, they do not differ from other average believers. Furthermore, some of their efforts appear scandalous, especially because on the one hand, they are behaving like managers and business travelers, and on the other, as media stars giving performances all over the world. All of this towards the aim of attracting as many people as possible to the already exquisitely developed tourist town of Medjugorje, to impose the status of a shrine on the place beyond all the rules, and to give the Franciscans of Hercegovina messianic merits.
Unlike all the previous authentic apparitions throughout the history of the Church where the visionaries always dedicated their lives directly to God, here all six visionaries are married and have between one and four children. In passing therefore, we recall those words of scripture that come to mind: The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about worldly affairs, how to please his wife (1 Cor 7:32-33). Taking into regard the other mentioned parts of the mosaic, and especially that according to the media, they are all materially well-off, this point is not sarcasm, but a big question related to the possible motives stirring the visionaries.
What is even more scandalous is what can be read about the life journey of Fr. Tomislav Vlašić OFM. Because of the severity of the manipulations of the Medjugorje phenomenon and the fact that through his Chronicle of apparitions and direct influence upon the visionaries on the one hand, and upon the French Mariologist René Laurentin on the other, he encouraged it the most, this cannot be defended with discretion even with the most benign goodwill. In 2009, according to a decision of the Holy See, he was dismissed from the Order of the Friars Minor and the priesthood and thereby laicized. The reason being that he was responsible for conduct harmful to ecclesiastical communion, both in the doctrinal and disciplinary fields. In the doctrinal field, amongst other things, due to his manipulating with the Medjugorje phenomenon and in the disciplinary field, because he violated the vow of celibacy and fathered a child with a former nun several years before the alleged apparitions. Moreover, later on with another woman who was allegedly healed in Medjugorje, he founded in Italy a type of male-female congregation called The Queen of Peace, we are totally yours – Through Mary to Jesus, in which the leaders, according to Vlašić’s own words, lived more or less like St. Francis and St. Claire (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p. 57). Vlašić is now with a third woman, who to be sure, is full of special graces, with whom he has established a new charismatic activity known as the Centralna jezgra (Central Nucleus). Through this he is promoting a new special type of spirituality that has nothing to do with Catholic teaching, but certainly does with new age, astrology, modern gnosis and other things, that in no other way than arbitrarily can be connected to the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Holy Spirit. They have their magnificent complex in Medjugorje, which consists of a splendid five-star hotel (modestly called the House of Prayer), an amphitheater and fabulous garden, and judging by the notices on the official web site, one can deduce that huge sums of money pass through here. We presume that the wise reader will need no further explanation. We also assume that the wise reader will not mind if we repeat once again the words of Bishop Žanić: “Oh my Lady, what are they doing to you!”
It is worthwhile to mention here that there are some other Medjugorje priests or chaplains, who while not possessing such a rich biography as Tomislav Vlašić, nevertheless have contributed to the spreading of the lies of Medjugorje. This primarily regards Fr. Jozo Zovko OFM, who at the beginning of the apparitions, was the pastor of Medjugorje, and the “Gospa” allegedly appeared to him as well. Due to the fact that he showed serious disobedience, in 1989 the bishop relieved him of his canonical faculties for the dioceses of Herzegovina. Yet this did not prevent him from continuing with the fanaticism of Medjugorje by traveling around the world, spreading the messages of Medjugorje and collecting inappropriate voluntary contributions (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, pp. 52-54). Today he lives in Zagreb, in a convent of the Franciscan Province of Hercegovina. The director Jakov Sedlar, in his film “Gospa” praises Fr. Zovko as a martyr of the Church and not a disobedient priest, and simultaneously presents a series of calumnies and other lies against the bishops of Mostar-Duvno.
Alongside him follows Fr. Slavko Barbarić OFM, who in 1984 succeeded Fr. Tomislav Vlašić as the associate pastor of Medjugorje and spiritual director of the visionaries. Although the bishop wanted to transfer him from Medjugorje due to his disobedience, he dutifully obeyed the message of the “Gospa” instead, which of course was based on a complete disregard for all positive regulations and customs, and he thereby became the leader of the parish. He obviously, along with the visionaries tirelessly traveled around the world promoting the “Gospa” of Medjugorje, thereby ignoring the discretion of the Church’s official investigation of the Medjugorje phenomenon and calling Medjugorje a shrine, even though it is not and cannot be one without proper and authoritative ecclesiastical approval. Moreover, when he died in 2000, he was given special acknowledgment, because the “Gospa” through her message, directly beatified him, by telling the visionaries that he was born to heaven and interceding for them (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p. 61).
Along with these two, we also mention Fr. Leonard Oreč OFM, who in 1988 was appointed parish priest of Medjugorje, however he too began to act against the regulations and hence the bishop took away his canonical faculties in the diocese and the Holy See confirmed this decision after his appeal.
These examples, as well as many other unpublished ones, clearly demonstrate that the Medjugorje phenomenon is based upon Franciscan disobedience to the bishop and to the Holy See and there is nothing supernatural about it. Or more precisely, if there is anything supernatural, then judging by the bitter fruits, it can in no way be from the Holy Spirit.
It is interesting to note though, that despite so many obvious lies, how could the Medjugorje phenomenon survive for so many years, and it is even more interesting to note that the number of its supporters compared to its opponents has not diminished, but has increased. In this regard, a particular problem arises in our opinion, in that the bishops of Mostar-Duvno and their assistants have been left alone to fight against these lies. In fact, they have not had sufficient support from other bishops or the Holy See because these last two have approached and are approaching the issues from more of a pastoral perspective and less from a dogmatic one. It is therefore important to present a few facts about this as well.
The official Church and its relation to Medjugorje – past and present
So far, four different commissions for determining the authenticity of the Medjugorje phenomenon have tried to give a positive or negative answer, but despite certain conclusions, it is still unclear. First of all, the five-member diocesan commission in Mostar was established, that studied the Medjugorje phenomenon from 1982 to 1984. This was then extended to fifteen members, carrying out investigations from 1984 to 1986. However, since there was no consensus at that time, a special commission was established at the Bishops’ Conference of Yugoslavia, which then also included the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno, that worked from 1987 to 1990. This commission made significant conclusions. Based on its work, the bishops gathered together in Zadar on 10 April 1991, made a Declaration, the most important part of which is that: “Based upon the research completed thus far, it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations” (Ogledalo pravde – Mirror of Justice, p. 197). In the same Declaration, the bishops stated that the commission would continue to follow the Medjugorje phenomenon and issue special liturgical-pastoral instructions in order to promote a healthy devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, as soon as the greater-Serbian aggression began on the Croatian territories in Eastern Herzegovina, followed by the war in the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the guidelines failed to see the light of day. Furthermore, given that the former Bishops’ Conference of Yugoslavia broke up, it was no longer competent to make any decisions because the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno entered the newly established Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Judging by the lack of any common conclusions throughout this time, we assume that on the issue of the Medjugorje phenomenon, not all the members equally agree. If we take into account the benevolence towards Medjugorje shown by Bishop Franjo Komarica (of Banja Luka) in his interview with the Turkish news agency Anatolia in April of this year and similarly that of Cardinal Vinko Puljić (of Sarajevo) with the Polish Catholic news agency, then we can understand why the Bishops’ Conference of B-H remains silent.
In addition to the aforementioned commissions, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith established its own commission, which carried out its research from 2010 to 2014 and then did an evaluation of it from 2014 to 2016. The results of all the commissions were properly delivered to the Holy See, first to Pope John Paul II, then to Pope Benedict XVI and finally to the Pope Francis. Certain statements and actions of Pope Francis and the Holy See, in the way they are presented to the public seem somewhat confusing, so it is hard to predict what the final decision will be. On the one hand, the Pope has stated that the Madonna is not a post-office manager who sends a different letter out every day and thereby infers the conclusion that the Medjugorje apparitions will not be recognized because they are actually blasphemous. On the other hand however, like so many others, he emphasizes the pastoral value of Medjugorje, and has appointed a special envoy to address (only) this issue. Yet a third position has surfaced recently with the alleged prospect that only the first seven days could be acknowledged as authentic, while everything else is rejected as untruthful.
While it is not good to make any judgments in advance, we want to look at this possibility, that the third solution mentioned becomes a reality, that is, that only the first seven days be acknowledged and the rest rejected. For us, this potential solution, which for some is a likely one, seems unreasonable and even dangerous. For in view of the circumstances and especially in view of the overestimated and in our opinion, unjustified emphasis of the alleged pastoral importance of Medjugorje might on the outside seem quite sensible and reconcilable, the dogmatic principles would be neglected.
Furthermore, this seems unreasonable and dangerous for several reasons. First of all, because this would mean that bishops Perić and Žanić would in fact effectively turn out to be liars, even though they presented numerous indisputable proofs regarding those first seven days, and the current bishop recently confirmed them once again. That is to say, the Truth would literally be knowingly sacrificed on behalf of some kind of peace and greater good, even though we are convinced that nothing good can come out of this. Bearing in mind the obedience to the Holy See, love towards the Church and devotion to the Mother of God that Bishop Perić has always showed, we are convinced that he would submit even to such an unjust decision and remain silent. Yet this would then literally mean the death of the Truth and the flourishing of Lies.
It also seems unreasonable and dangerous to us because the Truth cannot be partial. How is it possible for the Madonna to appear to someone for seven days and then “not appear” over the next 13,850 days? We believe that this illogicality is evident even to a child. Alternatively, an even more dangerous question: What then is appearing after the seventh day, if it is not the Madonna?
It seems unreasonable and dangerous also because the Herzegovinian Franciscans would perceive such a conclusion as their absolute victory, despite that considered in days, there would be many thousands of losses and only seven victories. And in fact, by this they would see the anticipation of the “Gospa’s” threat to the bishop that she will show justice in the kingdom. Furthermore, not only would there be no objective possibility for a fair settlement of the Herzegovinian affair, but also it would take on even more widespread and brutal proportions in its unfairness and disobedience.
It also seems unreasonable and dangerous because in this way Medjugorje would have to be recognized as a shrine, and this would allow for further paganization and commercialization, which is flourishing much more than faith there and in this sense would produce scandalous fruits.
Yet most of all, it seems to be unreasonable and dangerous to us because it would become a springboard and a sign of recognition to all those priests and religious who have built their priestly and religious vocations on the Medjugorje lies. These persons are confident that they personally abound with the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the grace of discernment of spirits, even though it seems to us that they are only deceiving people and proclaiming a gospel that neither Christ nor the apostles ever proclaimed. And to such persons, the Apostle Paul says: “But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:8).
But on the other hand, the true Gospel is the Good News, a message of hope that leaves no room for pessimism, but clearly states that God in everything works for good with those who love him (Rom 8:28). In this sense therefore, such an unreasonable and dangerous decision actually could produce excellent fruits and a new awakening of the faithful multitudes with a thirst for righteousness. This can already be felt somewhat, for many are well aware of the bitter fruits of horizontal and humanistic Christianity which arbitrarily gleans what it wants from the Gospel, and the same regards the uncertainty of the doctrine built upon the Medjugorje theology.
It is not, therefore, for us to worry about it, especially not before the Holy See says the last word. It is up to us to believe that the decision, whatever it may be, will be a fruit of the work of the Holy Spirit and in that sense a guarantee for the Church that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Mt16:18).
Often in this reflection, or rather, this examination of the evidence and arguments that the Chancery Office in Mostar has officially, constantly and unchangingly presented throughout the past 36 years, we have pointed out that we do not see even a single justified reason to believe in the Medjugorje apparitions. In other words, everything points to the deception originating in the pretentions of the Herzegovinian Franciscans on parishes that do not belong to them and that the alleged seers have been instrumentalized to achieve these worldly goals. Particular responsibility lies with Tomislav Vlašić, a disobedient Franciscan who, precisely for this reason and for his immoral life, was dismissed from the Franciscan Order. He however, obviously has great powers of suggestion, in that he succeeded to put under his influence not only the visionaries, but also the French Mariologist Laurentin, at least three women and a whole detachment of blind followers. He is also the one most responsible for the flourishing of many Medjugorje sects, with various distorted teachings and activities, all of which are hiding behind the charismatic renewal and the grace of the discernment of spirits. Added to him are other fanatics, who have contributed to the spreading of what Vlašić started.
It appears though, that the Holy See is well aware of all of this and that there is no doubt or at least there exist no essential suspicions regarding the doctrinal aspects and that even tomorrow it could make a ruling on the inauthenticity of the Medjugorje apparitions. Over the years however, the Medjugorje phenomenon has significantly suppressed the doctrinal and imposed the pastoral aspects. This suggests consequently, that with great responsibility and sensitivity, it is necessary to care for the many believers who come to Medjugorje in good faith seeking spiritual strength. Hence, in this sense, a negative judgment on the authenticity of the apparitions would bring more spiritual harm than good, despite the fact that great spiritual harm already exists, which primarily involves deviations in the faith and the bourgeoning of sectarianism, as well as a number of other bitter fruits that we have mentioned previously.
Therefore, it will not be easy for the Holy See to make a judgement on it. What might indeed happen is that it will be deliberately delayed for years as Cardinal G. L. Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, points out in his interview given to the Catholic News Agency of the Bishops’ Conference of Poland in April of this year. This is because it is clear that it cannot recognize something in which all the evidence shows that it is a manipulation, but also due to concern for the universal Church, it cannot ignore the aforementioned pastoral aspects, no matter how questionable they may be. Nor does a maneuvering seem very wise, in which Medjugorje would be partially acknowledged, because the pastoral questions cannot be separated from the question of the truthfulness of the apparitions and therefore, in this sense, such a decision would be a Pandora’s box.
While leaving aside any attempt at speculating what would be the smartest thing to do here, we only wish to repeat that despite all the many elements that indicate the sheer worldliness of this phenomenon, we believe that the Holy Spirit guides the Church and that in this case as well, no matter in which fashion, sooner or later, the Church will come out spiritually strengthened. The perseverance of Bishop Perić, Bishop Žanić and their assistants in their love of the truth, will then be recognized as a roadmap for the building up of right doctrine, which will be the foundation of the true worship of the Blessed Virgin Mary – our Mother and Mother of the Church.
The Diocesan Curia of Mostar on the Medjugorje phenomenon
Nikola Bulat, Istina će vas osloboditi: Nepouzdanost izvora i nedoličnost poruka: Studija o nekim međugorskim pitanjima (1986.), [The Truth will set you free], Mostar: Biskupski ordinarijat, 2006, 122 pages.
Ogledalo pravde: Biskupski ordinarijat u Mostaru o navodnim ukazanjima i porukama u Međugorju, [Mirror of Justice], edited by Fr. Dražen Kutleša, Mostar: Biskupski ordinarijat, 2001, 319 pages.
Pavao Žanić, ITALIAN: La Posizione attuale (non ufficiale) della Curia Vescovile di Mostar nei confronti degli eventi di Medjugorje, (30.10.1984)
Pavao Žanić, Izjava mostarskog biskupa o Međugorju, 25. srpnja 1987., Crkva na kamenu (Mostar), Nr. 8-9/1987, p. 2; Ogledalo pravde, priredio Dražen Kutleša, Mostar, 2001, p. 47–50; ENGLISH: Declaration concerning Medjugorje (25.7.1987); ITALIAN: Medjugorje: La dichiarazione del vescovo Žanić (25.7.1987)
Ratko Perić, Prijestolje Mudrosti, Mostar, 1995., p. 266–286 (Kriteriji za posuđivanje ukazanja o međugorskim pojavama); ITALIAN: I criteri per il discernimento delle apparizioni. eventi di Medjugorje, (31.5.1995)
Ratko Perić, Ne može se Međugorje nazivati ‘svetište Kraljice mira’, Vjesnik (Zagreb), 25.6.1996, p. 6.
Ratko Perić, Biskupska konferencija nije priznala Međugorje kao mjesto hodočašća, Slobodna Dalmacija (Split), 18.6.1997, p. 14; Crkva na kamenu (Mostar), Nr. 7/1997, p. 10.
Ratko Perić, Ni glasnogovornik Tiskovnog ureda Sv. Stolice ne preporučuje Međugorje kao mjesto hodočašća, Slobodna Dalmacija (Split), 5.7.1997, p. 3; Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 8/1997, p. 3.
Ratko Perić, Čapljinska ‘krizma’ i međugorska ‘karizma’, Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 11/1997, p. 2; ITALIAN: La cresima di Čapljina e il carisma di Međugorje, (7.10.1997)
Ratko Perić, Međugorske nevjerodostojnosti, Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 11/1997, p. 3.
Ratko Perić, Međugorske ‘poruke’ u službi ‘Hercegovačkog slučaja’, Crkva na kamenu (Mostar), Nr. 5/1998, p. 3.
Ratko Perić, Međugorskim vidiocima zabranjena viđenja u prostorijama vlasništva župnoga ureda, Vrhbosna (Sarajevo), Nr. 2/1998, p. 337–338.
Ratko Perić, Crkvena hodočašća u Međugorje i dalje nisu dopuštena, Vjesnik (Zagreb), 23.7.1998, p. 7.
Ratko Perić, Privatna hodočašća za nepriznata ukazanja, Slobodna Dalmacija (Split), 1.8.1998, p. 21.
Ratko Perić, Krizmanicima i vjernicima na Tijelovo u Međugorju, Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 7/1999, p. 2.
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 1.7.2000: Ratko Perić, Biskupova propovijed na krizmi u Međugorju, (1.7.2000); Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 8-9/2000, p. 2; Vrhbosna, Nr. 4/2000, str. 474–475; Ogledalo pravde, priredio Dražen Kutleša, Mostar, 2001, p. 293–297; ENGLISH: Bishop’s homily in Medjugorje, (1.7.2000); ITALIAN: L’omelia del vescovo a Medjugorje, (1.7.2000); GERMAN: Bischof in Medjugorje, (1.7.2000)
Ratko Perić, Prosudba Crkve o marijanskim ukazanjima, Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 11/2000, p. 2.
Ratko Perić, Dominus Iesus. Deklaracija o jedincatosti i spasotvornoj univerzalnosti Isusa Krista i Crkve, Vrhbosnensia (Sarajevo), Nr. 2/2000, p. 329–339 (on Medjugorje p. 329–331).
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 14.6.2001: Ratko Perić, Biskupova propovijed na krizmi u Međugorju, 2001, (14.6.2001); Ogledalo pravde, priredio Dražen Kutleša, Mostar, 2001, p. 308–311; ITALIAN: L’omelia del vescovo a Medjugorje, 2001, (14.6.2001)
Ratko Perić, Papin pohod Međugorju može pasti napamet samo…, Dnevni list, 20.11.2001, p. 1. and 4–5.
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 30.5.2002: Ratko Perić, Biskupova propovijed na krizmi u Međugorju, 2002, (30.5.2002); Međugorje – homilija, Vrhbosna (Sarajevo), Nr. 2/2002, p. 164–165.
Ratko Perić, Međugorska ‘ukazanja’ i crkvena hijerarhija. Rad komisija i izjave hijerarhije, Vrhbosna, Nr. 4/2002, p. 445–452.
Ratko Perić, Međugorska ‘ukazanja’ i duhovna zvanja, Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 12/2002, p. 12–14.
Međugorje nije svetište, već jedna obična župa, Slobodna Dalmacija (Split), 11.2.2003, p. 15.
Međugorske brojke i tajne, Crkva na kamenu (Mostar), Nr. 6/2003, p. 25–27.
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 18.6.2003: Ratko Perić, Biskupova propovijed na krizmi u Međugorju, 2003, (18.6.2003)
Ratko Perić, Istina oslobađa i obvezuje, (31.5.2004); Predgovor knjizi Michaela Daviesa: Istina oslobađa i obvezuje, (31.5.2004); ENGLISH: The truth both frees us and binds us (31.5.2004), foreword to: M. Davies, Medjugorje after 21 years, London, 2004.
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 10.6.2004: Ratko Perić, Međugorje: biskupova propovijed na krizmi, 2004, (10.6.2004); Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 7/2004, str. 4–6; ITALIAN: Medjugorje: estratto dall’omelia del vescovo, (10.6.2004)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 24.4.2005: Ratko Perić, Međugorje: biskupova propovijed na krizmi, 2005, (24.4.2005); Propovijed u Međugorju, Vrhbosna, Nr. 2/2005, p. 172–173; ENGLISH: Bishop’s homily in Međugorje, 2005; ITALIAN: L’omelia del vescovo a Medjugorje, 2005, (24.4.2005)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 15.6.2006: Ratko Perić, Međugorje: biskupova propovijed na krizmi, 2006, (15.6.2006); Homilija u Međugorju, Vrhbosna, Nr. 2/2006, p. 180–183; Iz propovijedi u Međugorju, 15.6.2006, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2007, p. 57–58; ENGLISH: Bishop’s homily in Medjugorje on solemnity of the most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, 2006(15.6.2006); ITALIAN: L’omelia del vescovo nella sollenità del Corpo e Sangue di Cristo a Medjugorje 2006, (15.6.2006); CASTILIAN: Medjugorje: Homilía de mons. Ratko Perić, (15.6.2006)
Ratko Perić, Magisterij iz mariologije o Međugorju (I. Turudić), Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 3/2006, p. 40.
Ratko Perić, Crkvene norme za voditelje duhovnih vježbi za molitvene susrete i slične sastanke, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2007, p. 55.
Srećko Majić, O. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. ne predvodi duhovne vježbe u Međugorju, (18.6.2007); Priopćenje: O. Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap. ne predvodi duhovne vježbe u Međugorju Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2007, p. 56–57; ENGLISH: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa O.F.M. Cap. will not direct spiritual retreat in Medjugorje, (18.6.2007); ITALIAN: Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa o.f.m. cap. non guiderà il ritiro spirituale a Medjugorje, (18.6.2007)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 9.6.2007: Ratko Perić, Biskupova propovijed na krizmi u Međugorju 2007, (9.6.2007); Propovijed na krizmi u Međugorju, 9.6.2007, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2007, p. 58–60; ENGLISH: Bishop’s homily in Medjugorje, (9.6.2007); GERMAN: Bischof in Medjugorje, (1.7.2007)
Ratko Perić, Biskupov odgovor dr. fra Tomislavu Pervanu župnom vikaru u Međugorju (18.8.2007), Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 3/2007, p. 58–63;
Ratko Perić, Međugorije – tajne, poruke, zvanja, molitve, ispovjedi, komisije, (1.9.2007); Međugorje – tajne, poruke, zvanja, molitve, ispovijedi, komisije, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2007, p. 61–67; ENGLISH: Međugorje: secrets, messages, vocations, prayers, confessions, (1.9.2007); ITALIAN: Medjugorje: segreti, messaggi, vocazioni, preghiere, confessioni, (1.9.2007)
Ratko Perić, Zovkićeva prosudba međugorskih zbivanja, U Službi riječi i Božjega naroda, Zovkićev zbornik, Sarajevo, 2007, p. 721–745; Zovkićeva prosudba međugorskih zbivanja, (18.11.2008)
Priopćenje o navodnoj komisiji za Međugorje, (27.6.2008); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2008, p. 78; ENGLISH: Press release regarding the alleged commission on Medjugorje, (27.6.2008); ITALIAN: Comunicato sulla presunta commissione di Medjugorje, (27.6.2008)
Kanonski status vlč. fra Tomislava Vlašića, OFM, (31.8.2008); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2008, p. 79–80; ENGLISH: The Canonical status of Rev. Father Tomislav Vlašić, OFM, (31.8.2008); ITALIAN: Lo status canonico del rev. fra Tomislav Vlašić, OFM, (31.8.2008)
Fra Tomislav Vlašić „u kontekstu međugorskog fenomena“, (31.8.2008); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2008, p. 80–81; ENGELSKI: Fra Tomislav Vlašić “within the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon”, (31.8.2008); ITALIAN: Fra Tomislav Vlašić „nel contesto del fenomeno Medjugorje“, (31.8.2008)
Biskupovo pismo s. Elviri, i odgovor, (15.12.2008); Biskupovo pismo s. Elviri u Međugorju, posredstvom župnog ureda, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2009, p. 75; ENGLISH: Bishop’s letter to Sr. Elvira, and her reply, (15.12.2008)
Biskupovo pismo odgovornima „Oaze mira“ u Međugorju, (27.2.2009); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2009, p. 76 [ITALIAN, bez hrvatskoga prijevoda]; ENGLISH: The Bishop’s letter to those in charge of the “Oasis of Peace” community in Medjugorje (27.2.2009)
Međugorski fenomen: Tomislav Vlašić otpušten iz Reda, (26.9.2009); Fr. José Rodriguez Carballo, Tomislav Vlašić otpušten iz redovništva i svećeništva, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2009, p. 179–180; Ratko Perić, Vlašićeva upletenost u “međugorski fenomen”, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2009, p. 181–189; ITALIAN: Il contesto del “fenomeno di Medjugorje”: I Tomislav Vlašić dimesso dallo stato religioso e presbiterale; II Le fantasie di Vlašić sul compleanno della Gospa, (26.9.2009)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 6.6.2009: Ratko Perić, Biskupova propovijed na krizmi u Međugorju, (6.6.2009); Crkva nije priznala “međugorska ukazanja”, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2009, p. 190–192; ENGLISH: Homily given during the celebration of the sacrament of confirmation in the parish of Medjugorje, (6.6.2009); ITALIAN: L’omelia durante la cresima a Međugorje, (6.6.2009)
Biskupovo pismo fra Petru Vlašiću, župniku u Međugorju (12.6.2009), Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2009, p. 192–193.
Biskupovo pismo fra Danku Perutini, župnom vikaru u Međugorju (12.6.2009), Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2009, p. 194.
Ratko Perić, Dvosmislene igre oko “Velikoga znaka”, (11.12.2009); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 3/2009, p. 270–279; ENGLISH: Questionable games surrounding the Great sign, (11.12.2009); ITALIAN: I giochi ambigui intorno al grande segno, (11.12.2009)
U povodu posjeta kard. Schönborna Međugorju, (2.1.2010); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2010, p. 111–112; ENGLISH: Statement regarding the visit of Card. Schönborn to Medjugorje, (2.1.2010); ITALIAN: In occasione della visita del card. Schönborn a Medjugorje, (2.1.2010)
Kardinal Schönborn odgovorio biskupu Periću, (16.1.2010); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2010, p. 113; ENGLISH: Letter of Cardinal Schönborn to Bishop Perić, (16.1.2010); ITALIAN: Il cardinale Schönborn ha risposto al vescovo Perić, (16.1.2010)
Ratko Perić, Međugorske stranputice, (25.1.2010); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2012, p. 97-102; (prvotna inačica, bez bilježaka); ITALIAN: Le deviazioni di Medjugorje, (25.1.2010)
Ratko Perić, Duhovna zvanja “međugorskih vidjelaca“, (5.3.2010); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2010, p. 114–122; ENGELSKI: The Spiritual Vocations of the “Seers of Medjugorje”(5.3.2010); ITALIAN: Le vocazioni spirituali dei “veggenti di Medjugorje“, (5.3.2010)
Objavljena imena članova Komisije (13.4.2010)
Ratko Perić, U povodu 10. obljetnice smrti fra Slavka Barbarića, (5.3.2011); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2011, p. 93–105; ITALIAN: Il 10. anniversario della morte di fra Slavko Barbarić, (5.3.2011)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 28.5.2011: Ratko Perić, Međugorje: osamdeset krizmanika, (28.5.2011): O dobru glasu i duhovnom zvanju, u: Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2011, p. 181–183.
Znanstvena ispitivanja nad međugorskim vidiocima: kritički osvrt prof. Théophila Kammerera, predsjednika Međunarodnoga liječničkog odbora u Lurdu (1986.), (10.6.2011); Sažetak Sjednice Međunarodnoga liječničkog odbora u Lurdu: Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2011, p. 240; Kritički osvrt na medicinske testove primijenjene na vidioce u Međugorju“ (1986.), Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2011, p. 241; ENGLISH: The scientific tests on the Medjugorje seers: A Critical Study by Prof. Th. Kammerer, President of the Medical Bureau of Lourdes, (10.6.2011); ITALIAN: Gli esami scientifici sui veggenti di Medjugorje: uno studio critico del professor Théophile Kammerer, presidente del Comitato medico internazionale di Lourdes (1986), (26.10.2010), (10.6.2011); FRENCH: Les tests scientifiques sur les voyants de Medjugorje: une étude critique par le pr. Kammerer, president du Bureau medical de Lourdes, (10.6.2011)
Ratko Perić, Biskup Žanić u „Misteriju Međugorja“, (21.12.2011); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 3/2011, p. 340–344; ENGLISH: Bishop Žanić in “The Mystery of Medjugorje” (31.12.2011), ITALIAN: Il vescovo Žanić nel „Mistero di Medjugorje“, (21.12.2011)
Mostar: 12. obljetnica smrti biskupa Pavla Žanića, (12.1.2012); ‘Vidjelica’ Marija i istina, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2012, p. 102–103; ENGLISH: The Twelfth Anniversary of the Death of Bishop Žanić, (12.1.2012); ITALIAN: Il dodicesimo anniversario della morte del vescovo Žanić, (12.1.2012); FRENCH: Douzième anniversaire de la mort de Monseigneur Žanić, (12.1.2012)
„Vidjelica“ Mirjana i istina, (18.2.2012); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2012, p. 104; Marco Corvaglia, Mirjana prepravlja povijest, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2012, p. 105–106; ITALIAN: La “veggente” Mirjana e la verità, (18.2.2012); FRENCH: La “voyante” Mirjana et la vérité, (18.2.2012)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 19.5.2012 Ratko Perić, Međugorčani: bogatite se u Bogu, a ne u prolaznu bogatstvu, (19.5.2012); Bogatite se u Bogu, a ne u bogatstvu, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2012, p. 218–220; Naša Gospa (Dubrovnik), Nr. 46/2012, p, 7–8; ENGLISH: People of Međugorje: Get rich in God, not in wealth that passes away, (19.5.2012)
Norme o postupku u prosuđivanju navodnih ukazanja, (23.5.2012); Kongregacija za nauk vjere, Proslov u Norme o postupku u razlikovanju navodnih ukazanja ili objava (14.12.2011), Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2012, p. 122–123; Sv. kongregacija za nauk vjere, Norme o postupku u prosuđivanju navodnih ukazanja (25.2.1978.), Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2012, p. 124–125.
Ratko Perić, Temeljne istine i ‘društvene konstrukcije’, Crkva na kamenu, Nr. 4/2012, p. 30-32.
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 4.5.2013 Ratko Perić, Međugorje: Novo srce i nov duh, (4.5.2013); Novo srce i nov duh!, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2013, p. 191–192.
Međugorje: Ozbiljno ponovno upozorenje Kongregacije za nauk vjere biskupima SAD-a, (7.11.2013); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 3/2013, p. 242; ENGLISH: Međugorje: The Letter of the Congregation to the Bishops’ Conference of USA, (8.11.2013); ITALIAN: Međugorje: Un rinnovato serio monito della Congregazione ai vescovi degli USA, (8.11.2013)
Rim: Papinski barometar o Međugorju?, (16.11.2013), Sandro Magister, Papinski barometar nagovješćuje loše vrijeme za Međugorje, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 3/2013, p. 309.
Madrid: Nadbiskupija zabranjuje vjernicima sudjelovanje, (21.12.2013) /Croatian and Castilian/; Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2014, p. 103.
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 17.5.2014 Ratko Perić, Međugorje: Krizmanici, držite se crkvenoga nauka o Gospi!, (17.5.2014); Prianjati uz crkveni nauk o Gospi!, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2014, p. 178–180; ENGLISH: Medjugorje: Confirmation candidates, keep the Church’s teachings about our Lady!, (17.5.2014)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 16.5.2015 Ratko Perić, Međugorje: Čuvati jedinstvo u istini Božjoj!, (16.5.2015); Čuvati jedinstvo u istini Božjoj!, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2015, p. 192–194; ITALIAN: Međugorje: Salvare l’unità nella verità di Dio, (16.5.2015)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 28.5.2016 Ratko Perić, Međugorje: Kako surađujemo s Duhovim darovima?, (28.5.2016); Kako surađujemo s Duhovim darovima, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 2/2016, p. 229–231.
Ratko Perić, Istinska Gospa i „poštanska upraviteljica“, (9.2.2017); , Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2017, p. 113–114; ENGLISH: The True Madonna and the “Post Office Manager”, (10.2.2017); ITALIAN: La Madonna vera e il capoufficio postale, (10.2.2017)
Vatikan: Imenovanje Posebna izaslanika Svete Stolice za Međugorje, (11.2.2017); Imenovanje Posebna izaslanika Svete Stolice za Međugorje, Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2017, p. 114–115.
Ratko Perić, Međugorska „ukazanja“ u prvih sedam dana, (28.2.2017); Službeni vjesnik biskupijâ Mostarsko-duvanjske i Trebinjsko-mrkanske, Nr. 1/2017, p. 115–118; ENGLISH: The First Seven Days Of The “Apparitions” In Medjugorje, (27.2.2017); ITALIAN: Le “apparizioni” dei primi sette giorni a Međugorje, (26.2.2017); CASTILIAN: Las apariciones de los primeros siete días en Medjugorje, (17.5.2017)
Rim: Kongregacija o navodnim ukazanjima u Međugorju /KAI, 11.4.2017/, (12.4.2017)
Ratko Perić, Napadi međugorske pojave na dijecezanskoga biskupa Pavla Žanića, (4.5.2017); ENGLISH: The Attacks Of The Medjugorje “Apparition” Against The Diocesan Bishop Pavao Žanić, (10.5.2017); ITALIAN: Gli attacchi della “apparsa” di Medjugorje al vescovo diocesano Pavao Žanić, (4.5.2017)
Biskupski ordinarijat Mostar, Mostar: “Suradnici“ UDBE I KGB-a, (18.5.2017)
HOMILY AT MEDJUGORJE 15.6.2017 Ratko Perić, Međugorje: Primajmo Gospodina dostojno! Častimo Gospu dolično!, (15.6.2017); ENGLISH: Let us receive the Lord worthily and venerate the Madonna properly! (10.7.2017); ITALIAN: Medjugorje: il Corpus Domini e la s. cresima, (16.6.2017)
Bishop Perić’s homilies at Medjugorje in ENGLISH
Bishop Perić’s homilies at Medjugorje in CROATIAN
Bishop Perić’s homilies at Medjugorje in ITALIAN