In a stunning blow to those committed against Medjugorje, Catholic News Service has reported that Ratko Peric the Bishop of Mostar (he oversees St. James parish which is at the center of the Medjugorje phenomena) will no longer speak out against the the mysterious, unexplained events.
In an e-mail to Catholic News Service in late February, he said he would no longer comment about what is happening in Medjugorje out of respect for the Vatican commission.
Skeptics and doubters have argued strongly for years that Medjugorje has been a divisive event in the Catholic Church due mostly to the disobedience shown by supporters of Medjugorje towards the proclamations and wishes of the local Bishop - Bishop Peric. Doubters have pointed to disobedience as definitive evidence that the alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary are not authentic. In the past the Bishop of Mostar has urged the “seers” of Medjugorje to “demonstrate ecclesiastical obedience and to cease with these public manifestations and messages in this parish.” The claim by Medjugorje skeptics has been that approved apparitions have been never been associated with cases of disobedience.
Clearly from the news story today Bishop Peric has issued his mea culpa. One can certainly argue that it has been the Bishop of Mostar who has been acting in disobedience of official church rulings with respect to Medjugorje.
It is time, particularly for the American Catholic Press, to urge all Catholics to view Medjugorje with discernment and not with derision and doubt.
(It would be certainly wonderful if author, speaker, and blogger, Patrick Madrid and others who have never been to Medjugorje would spend time in speaking and writing about things that they know about rather than "polluting the waters" of Medjugorje. Patrick and others continue to discount the "fruits of Medjugorje" like those of so many vocations to the priesthood and people returning to the Church through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He and others are also not able to explain how the messages of Our Lady go against the Gospel or the teachings of the Church. Last year I was called by Ave Maria Radio and asked to be on Al Kresta Live regarding the newly appointed Vatican Commission. Little did I know that it was a "set-up" and when the show began I found out that he was also going to be on it. Whenever it is approved or even if we do not see the day. . .the faithful do not need to believe in Church approved apparitions since they are still considered "private revelation." Nothing that has ever come out of Medjugorje in almost 30 years this June has gone against the Gospel. Yes, it is time to open one's eyes and hearts to see what the "Bigger Picture" presents.)