Monday, August 10, 2009
Medjugorje Priest Laicized...
Father Tomislav Vlasic, a Franciscan priest who served as the spiritual adviser to the Marian visionaries in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, has been laicized by Benedict XVI. He has fathered a child (not always a bad thing), but he is also suspected of heresy, schism, "the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspected mysticism, disobedience towards legitimately issued orders." That's quite a list and all the charges were made "in the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon." While this request for laicization was made by Vlasic himself, it appears to have gone through rather speedily.
This is another chapter in a sad story of the suspect Medjugorje "apparitions." The bishop of the Medjugorje area at the time of the original apparitions has stated his belief that Vlasic made up the whole thing. I'm not aware of so much turmoil and charges of possible heresy regarding any other sighting so long after the original sighting, but anyone can feel free to fill me in.
This does raise questions about why local priests (i.e. Michael Lightner & Rick Wendell) continue to bring groups of pilgrims there. While they are not breaking any Vatican rules, the Vatican has made clear that no diocese or church can officially sponsor a pilgrimage there. And for two priests who are supposedly so orthodox, I do not understand their desire for spreading the "messages" of Medjugorie. If anyone reading this has made a pilgrimage there, I would appreciate your insight.
A Faithful Catholic