Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn speaks before Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Stephens Cathedral, Vienna, September 23, 2010

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn

Praised Be Jesus and Mary!
Praised be Jesus Christ!

Dear Marija, dear Ivan, thank you first of all that you came. Thank you that you came again! [applause] Thank you for your service across so many years. For your work, for your service of being messengers of the Gospa [Our Lady]. You bring us children of this world, children of humanity, her love and her presence, and may God pay you back a hundred-fold for what you’re doing tirelessly.

Before we go into Adoration, I wish to tell you three things that are very deep in my heart. [I’ll speak] very shortly.

First, if I think back to the beginning of the prayer community here in Vienna, the beginning of the 80’s, in the very beginning at the Dominican Church, (I am Dominican), I remember how we were surprised that every Thursday the church was full. We were not used to that. And that people were praying for hours. There was Confession, there was Rosary. But you see, this is nearly 30 years ago, and the astonishing thing is, I can see tonight, you have never stopped praying! That is not usual. And that shows what Our Lady always says at the end of her messages, “Thank you for having responded to my call.” I can only repeat, thank you for having heard her until today, and thank you for continuing to listen to her.

The second is of our beloved icon Maria of Posch. Maria Posch is in eastern Hungary, and I was there for the Jubilee of that pilgrimage place. The original is here, the copy in Maria Posch. It’s an icon through which the Mother of God has shown her closeness through the miracle of tears. In 1697 there was the big miracle of tears because the icon cried for many days. Why did she cry? She cried about the suffering of the people. But I believe mainly because she suffers with us, she is compassionate, because she is really the mother of all of us her tears have guided many, many people back to faith, deeper into faith; and if you look everyday there are thousands of candles burning in front of her picture here in the Dom, St. Stephen’s [Cathedral]. I want to indicate something to you which is a speciality of this icon, because this icon is the indicator of the path. It is Mary indicating Jesus with her hand. She shows us the way. She shows us Jesus who said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” She shows us Jesus. “Do what he tells you to do!” That’s what she tells at Cana, “Do what he tells you to do.”

But this icon has something very special. Normally in the icons of the Church of the East, the baby, the child Jesus, blesses with both his hands. And Mary indicates Jesus and Jesus blesses. Here, and this is very rare, here there is something else. He indicates his mother as she indicates him. He indicates her and on this icon Jesus does what he does later on the cross. He says, “Behold your mother!” Here is your mother. See your mother. I believe that this is something very special that we rarely see on icons: the love of Jesus for his mother, he shows her to us.

And the third is something funny, something amusing. I have heard so many witnesses about Medjugorje in these nearly 30 years. One thing I have to tell you because it’s kind of funny and I believe that I’m allowed to do that.

I took a train after my visit to Medjugorje. And I felt that this was a little wink from Our Lady. I sat on the train and wanted to be pious and pray the breviary. A very voluminous lady sat down next to me. She was really, really fat. And I had to really push myself to the side because she left very little space. And I was slightly annoyed, I must admit. I was not virtuous. And then she began to talk to me. I didn’t like it at all. She asked me, “Father, where are you a parish priest?” I sort of reacted in an annoyed way. She was a Roma lady from Burgland and I acted a bit annoyed, and I said, “I want to read.” And she asked again, “Hey, Father, where are you a parish priest?” And again annoyed I answered, “I am the bishop of Vienna.” And she answered, “Oh, yes, I¹m sorry. I didn’t want to disturb you.” And that made me become a bit more friendly. And then out of the sky she began to say,  “My husband was in Medjugorje.” I didn’t say anything about Medjugorje, she said it. “My husband was in Medjugorje. And he climbed up a hill where there is a big cross at the top. And he climbed back down. And since he came back he is so kind and friendly like he was never before in his life with me!” [applause]

And she said she wants to go to Medjugorje also now. Perhaps she will also be so friendly.

The Lord is in our midst truly! Truly, truly like in the times in Galilee, in Jerusalem, so real, the Risen Lord!
We want to greet him now. And in great gratitude, in great trust, we want to adore him.

[His Eminence then presided, leading the congregation in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.]

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Watch the Sept 23, 2010 evening of prayer in Vienna, Austria with Ivan and Marija from Medjugojre at marytv.tv Ivan and Marija receive an apparition of the Queen of Peace in Cardinal Schoenborn’s Cathedral. The evening consisted of prayer, Mass, the apparition, and testimonies from Ivan, Marija, and others.

(Source: MaryTV’s Medjugorje Channel)

Will Medjugorje soon become the Next Big Story in Catholic News?

By Stephen Ryan

(Source: ministryvalues.com)

“Here we have the “author” of the  Catechism -the greatest single reference work on Catholic doctrine today and close friend of the Holy See- outright telling the World that the Blessed Mother is here offering “messages” to the world. You can’t make this stuff up. This is 60 minutes worthy. ”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official text of the teachings of the Catholic Church and Cardinal Schönborn the Archbishop of Vienna has gained international prominence for his work as Director of the Catechism of the Catholic Church – the greatest single reference work on Catholic doctrine today.

So who could have imagined that on September 23, 2010 this great intellect, the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Schonborn,  would host two “visionaries” of the Blessed Virgin Mary in his grand cathedral – St. Stephen’s in Vienna. This singular event in Austria has now pushed  Medjugorje, the place known for the spiritual mystery of the Blessed Mother appearing to six children, now adults, for nearly thirty years, even further onto the world stage.

Watching the event on television and  according to reports, electricity shot through the Church and goose-bumps poured forth when the Archbishop, in his opening statement, turned to the Bosnian visionaries and said:

Praised Be Jesus and Mary!
Praised be Jesus Christ! (a common greeting from Medjugorje)
Dear Marija, dear Ivan, thank you first of all that you
came.  Thank you that you came
again!  [applause]  Thank you for your service across so many
years. For your work, for your service of being messengers of the Gospa
Our Lady.   You bring us children of this
world, children of humanity, her love and her presence and may God pay you
back 100 fold for what you¹re doing tirelessly.  read transcript here

After the Mass and after the Adoration of Our Savior  the crowds thinned and as the broadcast equipment was being gathered and put away, Cardinal Schonborn, still milling around the Cathedral,  thanked Tom Matasso, the Mary TV technical expert who had broadcast the event around the world, for his work.  Tom Matasso then  thanked Cardinal Schonborn  for standing by Medjugorje.. – the Cardinal replied, “It is my duty!”  – more electricity, more goose-bumps.

It was an extraordinary moment.   Perhaps soon, perhaps in time, but we wonder if the moment will be remembered as historic or simply a  footnote in the Catholic Church’s mysterious dance with visions of the Virgin Mary.

So why do we ask if Medjugorje, which was recently described by the BBC as the fastest growing Marion shrine in the world, will soon become the biggest Catholic News story in America?

First of all it is important to understand that the Catholic “blogosphere” and leading Catholic voices have been very active reporting on Medjugorje and have recently come out strongly against Cardinal Schonborn’s  very public support for the Queen of Peace and the events taking place in Medjugorje.  But with the decidedly negative spin attached to Medjugorje  by these Catholic commentators the events of Medjugorje are quickly dismissed and so the idea of the Virgin Mary appearing today remains a remote and fringe issue for many Catholics  –  perhaps even “dangerous”.  But again we think this is about to change. Something must change, in fact, as we explain below.

Over the past two weeks ministryvalues.com has held intense and at times  uncomfortable dialog with leading  voices in Catholic Media including Deacon Greg Kandra at Beliefenet.com, Patrick Madrid and Mark Shea ( a few months ago).  Each of these esteemed men have been active and persistent critics of the apparitions of Medjugorje. The tone of these important America Catholics writers in their columns and blogs have  not only mocked the events at Medjugorje but quite frankly have questioned the behavior of the Archbishop of Vienna himself.   Greg Kandra writes in a headline – “Someone should alert Cardinal Schonborn” and a few months ago Greg Kandra in another article against Medjugorje he writes  of  Medjugorje – “Medjugorje: Lies, contradictions, promises, uncertainties”

In an e-mail we  asked Greg Kandra about his views on Cardinal Schonborn’s recent activities including hosting the Medjugorje visionaries in his Cathedral and why it bothered him so much -we asked why he was willing to take on the Archbishop so directly. Greg wrote back saying  ” I think the Cardinal is being irresponsible in his very public support for an “apparition” that has not been approved by the Church, and I would caution all faithful Catholics to tread carefully on the issue of Medjugorje. It is a place to be approached with great skepticism and, in fact, caution.”  We thought to ourselves “Greg Kandra thinks the Editor of the Catholic Catechism is being irresponsible -Wow, thats a pretty strong statement.”

We then asked him if he  would be willing to invest a little time  trying to understand the Archbishop of Vienna’s point of view and his  actions towards Medjugorje. Mr. Kandra wrote back: “Thank you for your insight and kind offer, Ryan. But I’ll decline.  I’m really not interested in promoting the Medjugorje “apparitions” at this time.”

We then  asked  Greg Kandra “Without this (trying to understand Cardinal Schonborn’s views) Greg you are effectively waging a quite battle against the Director of the Catholic Catechism. You have put yourself at odds with the man who wrote the book that speaks officially for the Church. This is not a sustainable position to be in.” Deacon Kandra finally offered that to him  Medjugorje was cult like in most of its manifestations  and he felt the proper approach for Catholics was to be “cautious”  until the Catholic Church has ruled on the matter.

Patrick Madrid, though recognizing the great “fruits” of Medjugorje , also holds negative views on the unapproved apparitions but the trouble he finds in Medjugorje stems from issues of disobedience among supporters of Medjugorje, including Cardinal Schonborn. Mr. Madrid believes Medjugorje and its followers, from beginning to end, have been disobedient towards the Bishop of Mostar who oversees Medjugorje. He believes this is reason alone to consider the events at Medjugorje as “Not supernatural”

“From very early on, you see an incitement to disobedience in the messages,” Madrid said. “If this really is the Mother of God urging disobedience to the bishops, that seems at odds with her messages to people like St. Faustina, where she urged obedience even in the wake of disbelief and disapproval.”

Mr Madrid has  a cornucopia of intellectuals that tend to do his bidding including one of his most zealous “sources” who has accused Cardinal Schonborn  of “slapping” the Bishop of Mostar “in the face” for hosting the Medjugorje visionaries.  We have gone back and forth on the question of dissobediance with Patrick Madrid but like Greg Kandra in the end, he feels his postion and views on Medjugorje are  correct and that  Archbishop is wrong in his public support of Medjugorje.

Cardinal Schonborn without apologies or nuance greeted the visionaries of an unapproved apparition in his Diocese in the grand and ornate Catholic setting of St Stephen’s Cathedral and it certainly begs the question from skeptics and believers “Why and why now” Why would the good Cardinal embrace the visionaries in such a public way knowing the controversies surrounding Medjugorje and how Medjugorje creates divisions among the Catholic faithful?  What are his motivations? Certainly he could show his support towards Medjugorje without sending the Catholic blogosphere in to such a state of dismay as to feel compelled to criticise a great intellectual of our faith.

We think  part of the answer to these questions can be found in a lecture Cardinal Schonborn gave to students at Catholic Universtity almost a year ago.

Ministryvalues.com was in attendance and the lecture was titled “The Identity of Christianity – Alien Presence or Foundation of the West”,. The lecture presented a stark assessment of Christian faith in Europe and suggested that the revitalization of faith among its citizens would be arduous and uncertain. He said Europe is “ignoring its Christian roots” and he went on to say  Europe was now the least religious region in the world.

Clearly Cardinal Schonborn sees Christianity and Catholicism under attack. He made reference that Christianity was dying in Europe.  Perhaps he sees that we need the hand of Our Lady now more than ever. Perhaps he sees we need the spirituality of our faith to be deepened by reexamining  the supernatural, a unique  and important aspect to the Catholic faith that is often overlooked by so many today.   Pope John Paul II  once said “We have lost our sense of the supernatural”   Our Lady at Fatima the great prophetic “approved” apparition said  in one of her messages “In the end my heart will triumph” Perhaps Cardinal Schonborn sees that the time is now – now is the time for Our Lady’s heart to triumph.

Without referring to Medjugorje directly Pope Benedict XVI, last week gave a talk on the importance of pilgrimages and shrines and said “In these historic moments in which we are called, with greater force if possible, to evangelise our world, the riches offered to us by the pilgrimage to shrines should be highlighted”  We were left pondering what the Holy See meant as he spoke of “these historic times”

Set out on a Spiritual Visitation

Saturday, 08 May 2010 20:25

(Source: crownofstars)

Fr Svetozar Kraljevic

Fr Svetozar Kraljevic

Persevere with this lengthy transcript of a talk given by Fr Svetozar Kraljevic in Medjugorje. You will be greatly rewarded. Thanks to Angela Callan for writing every word by hand!

There are a number of things I would like to share with you and I don’t know where to start. We are pilgrims, and in this pilgrimage, in this journey of life, everything is ‘fast forward’. There are many surprises and many challenges and we always wonder how we are doing in this art of living.

We always address ourselves to finding the best answers, the best solutions, the best avenue to get there; to accomplish things and sometimes be good, to be victorious, to be sensible, to be useful. We answer our calling to be good human beings, to be a good worker, a good mother or father, a good friend, neighbour, brother or sister. So we always wonder and pray and think ‘how can we be the best we can be?’ And don’t we make some terrible mistakes? Someone said, “God help me to protect my friends from myself.” And that is more critical than helping protect myself from others.

WE ARE LIKE SCIENTISTS…

Probably on a pilgrimage like this we want to answer some of those questions. We want to investigate – basically, we are scientists every day. Did you ever think of that? These scientists have the privilege that they know the formulas of physics and mathematics, to make machines.

But how about the mother who is trying to be the best mother possible? She is using everything she has to be the best she can be. Every day she is a scientist investigating her own soul and the soul of her child, and the mysteries of the world, to be the best she can be. And that curiosity that will keep us curious every day to know that the secrets and mysteries have to be part of our living, every day.

We will be the best when we are in the image of God. In this world, unfortunately, our basic mistake is that we create God and others in OUR image. That is where we go wrong – we would like to create God and the world, including every human being around us, in our image. That is where we go wrong and where we are broken. So we are becoming these curious scientists of the soul to investigate the mysteries of life, to become the best we can be, the best we need to be for the well-being of our brothers and sisters and for the glory of God.

What is the best way to do this? We all have to invest our lives to know. When Our Lady comes to speak to mankind with the message of God, with the message of the Holy Spirit, she is addressing precisely that: our human, existential need to be the best we can be.

PILGRIMAGE IS PRAYER…

Basically I would like to reflect on how we can improve our human relationships. Of course, God is very much a part of all this and He would like to help us to be active in these human inter-relationships. There is one message that comes from God the Holy Spirit, (and Our Lady is at the service of this message) and that is prayer. It’s as simple as that. She is calling us to prayer.

The purpose for us here today is to see what does it mean to pray. We are all called to enter into the business of prayer. I said earlier that we all create God and those around us in our own image, so we create our own prayer, our own beliefs. So we say, “I’m nice, really, I believe in God.” – and we do it all wrong. So in pilgrimage Our Lady would like to actually teach us how to pray. In pilgrimage we are into the business of prayer.

Many people will be speaking to you and people from all over the world are in the same position – we are all pilgrims. You don’t come to me or anyone here, you don’t come to the visionaries for them to make your pilgrimage – but we all involve ourselves in the business of pilgrimage.

The other word for pilgrimage is prayer. Prayer or pilgrimage is a whole cultural way of living, a whole mentality, a whole approach to life. Prayer is something we need to be and prayer is the way to be. Pilgrimage is the way to be. Pilgrimage is basically when I say to God, “I am ready. I would like to be curious and ready. Whatever surprise you might have for me today, tomorrow… I am ready.” That is the mentality the Holy Spirit would like to create in us! Without this ‘I am ready for you my Lord’ I will do my own thing. But with this ‘I am ready’ we say those words of Peter: “Speak to me Lord, I am ready to listen.”

Those are the words in the Old Testament, the major words in the Old Testament and the New Testament: “Lord, speak to me, I am willing to listen.”

WILLING TO LISTEN…

So in pilgrimage you are basically coming to that attitude. “I am willing to listen”. There are many things that need to happen in this process of becoming willing to listen. These things will happen in pilgrimage. So pilgrimage is the most profound, the best way of becoming a person of prayer. Actually, without pilgrimage we cannot become a person of prayer. In pilgrimage we are being thrown into a mill and crushed. Our old ways are crushed so that we can receive new ways.

In the book of Revelation we have, “Behold, I am making all things new,” so this is Revelation happening to you. So suddenly you are not reading about Peter, but Peter is YOU. You are not far distant and an observer of events, but you become the very centre; this is happening to YOU. You become a biblical person, with biblical things happening to you. God is calling your name and bringing you on this long journey so that you can encounter Him.

This pilgrimage is tailored precisely according to your needs. Whatever your thoughts are in the process of pilgrimage, this is something responding to your situation. Your pilgrimage is the most unique, intimate experience that happened to you that only you and the Lord do know. It has absolutely nothing to do with Medjugorje. Your coming to this place is to do with the drama in your own life. Medjugorje is just a challenge, a spark from God, that initiates this process in you.

So we are not investigating the mountain. The mountains are helping us to investigate our own soul. We are not investigating the Church’s stand on Medjugorje, we are investigating where we stand with the Lord. We are not investigating whether the children are telling the truth or not because, after everything is said and done, there is only you and the Lord, face to face, to speak to. We cannot avoid that reality – in pilgrimage there is that intimate process, you and the Lord. I walk my walk, you walk your walk. I deal with my own stupidity and troubles, you with your own. We will answer to the Lord for these and we will be glorified or punished, but this is something intimate that each of us has to do.

MAKING SPACE IN OUR LIVES…

In pilgrimage we create space in our lives for God. That is the basic. Suddenly, you leave your family, your brothers and sisters, your work, your friends, your power, your comforts. In the New Testament Jesus spoke about leaving brothers and sisters for His sake. In pilgrimage you do precisely that.

You register these moments when you are packing your suitcase. You cannot take your car, you cannot put your kitchen into your suitcase, your friends, your jobs. You have to leave the props that support the whole system of your life. You have to leave your comfort and security zones and suddenly learn to live without all that, to learn a new art of living.

Suddenly you learn in pilgrimage that you can survive the mountain, and that you are able to climb the mountain. That’s prayer. That’s the process of surrender.

We all have a kingdom of our own. Sometimes it’s not large – it’s as large, maybe, as your own kitchen. But we do have that kingdom, and suddenly that little we have is gone and lost. We don’t have it anymore. It is surrendered. That’s pilgrimage. That’s prayer.

WALKING IN PRAYER…

Through pilgrimage, prayer is something that is happening to your body and your soul. It’s a total experience of your life. That is the way God likes us to pray. We usually pray in our ordinary life with portions of our being.

So we say a few prayers, even spend one hour in prayer every day, but then all the rest of the time we live in this secular world where God is not present that much any longer. We attend church on Sunday, but then we have our business as usual where God doesn’t have much to say.

In pilgrimage God would like to change that. Suddenly, God enters into all corners of your life. That is the way he would like to teach us to walk in prayer, to live in prayer by becoming pilgrims, to enter into this amazing journey of pilgrimage which is the business of God.

It wasn’t wise in Peter’s eyes that Jesus went to Jerusalem. He allowed himself to be crushed, and that is part of the pilgrimage. So basically, pilgrimage is a stupid thing to do, not wise, not sensible. Don’t expect others to approve it, to confirm it, or to praise you for it, or to understand you. On the contrary, you can be judged harshly, condemned by your own family and friends, and by many you thought would affirm you, encourage you. Pilgrimage is a daring journey, but that is all in the school of prayer.

WHEN HEARTS ARE CRUSHED…

I am going to share something with you. I am the Rector of Mother’s Village and 83 people are employed there. Today there are 350 there for lunch. You get into a situation of human relationships when someone is in charge of a portion of the work there and takes it very seriously. I am sharing my frustrations with you.

This person in charge, he suddenly sees that someone is doing something wrong. Wrong, period! The mistake that people make is that with the justice of God and their righteousness, they go charging in and in a rage crush the heart of another person. If someone then reprimands them for the tension that is suddenly in the workplace, they will say, “Don’t you know I’m right?” So with vengeance and justice they walk around ‘right’. They are able to crush their fellow co-workers and make tension in the whole place and create situations that are not desirable.

This happens because we are not willing to suffer. We are so often so willing to condemn, judge and be righteous. The most damage we do to ourselves and others is by being righteous, by being right. That is why Christ goes to be crushed on the Cross. He didn’t say a word to the person who was crucifying him. He allowed that person to learn himself, in his own time. At that moment he didn’t know what he was doing. He allowed him to learn, to grow, to find out in his own way.

That is the way we will be brothers and sisters and pilgrims: allowing the person next to you to be stupid, to be wrong, and you remain silent again and again and again, and be calm and then the situation will be resolved by itself.

Pray to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God will teach you, but only after you have suffered and prayed. Then you become a redeemer yourself, a co-redeemer with Jesus Christ for your family, for your children for your friend, for your neighbour, in such a way that we stand not as judges but as brothers and sisters who will bring blessings to others, not condemnation. This person might be wrong, but the damage that is coming to this person in this harsh way is far greater damage than the initial wrong that this person was doing. Then we inflict greater sufferings with greater consequences than the initial damage that was there, that we thought we needed to address.

WOUNDS TO ATTEND…

In pilgrimage, we actually learn to walk, willing to suffer, to experience injustices, willing to be misunderstood. We walk with the shortcomings, wrongs, injustices done against us. The time will come, but only after we have suffered a bit, when we will be able to address the situation, to dress the wound and clean it and let it grow better. Then these people around will realise that they were seen doing wrong, and they were not rejected or crushed – and they will appreciate that and they will grow. This is the area where we need to investigate the mysteries and secrets and wisdom of life.

We pilgrims pray in such a way because all this is common sense. we don’t need to wait for a child to do something stupid to warn them, gently, with the love of God, and not with vengeance and poison of our own, fears and selfishness. Pilgrimage is something we allow to happen. As we go with pilgrimage we go with God, and we meet other people because this is where we are meant to be, where we are created to be. We will be allowed to have the cup to drink, but also where we will bless abundantly so many we will encounter on the journey of our life.

We are so quick with this judgement against others that with the same mentality we accuse God, where we even see him doing something wrong to us.

When Christ walked towards the Cross, to embrace it, to lift it on his shoulders, he questioned God for letting him be in such a position. If Christ was able to come to such a position then we too will be in a similar position where God will allow us to walk into this encounter with the Cross; then in our justice we will condemn even God for being wrong. This is the same mentality we use in our relationships with the people around us. In this milieu, in the prayer, in this pilgrimage we are crushed in those selfish attitudes. Our selfish ways are crushed.

Often we are like an angry dog who has experienced beatings and thinks that everyone wants to harm him. So before he is hit, he bites. In pilgrimage we need to allow ourselves be crushed, to become a new person, so that we become blessed ourselves, like Our Lady, and not only blessed ourselves but medicine for the wounds of others. So God will be able to bring you to where he is expecting you to be, there to bless. There is somewhere a wound for you to attend to and heal, just by being there, present. So in this pilgrimage we allow a similar process to Christ allowing himself to be crushed. “God count on me.”

SACRAMENTS…

There is an area of major crisis in the Church where we decide what our faith needs to be, what we need to believe, especially in the area of morality. Sometimes people realise that they are wrong. They realise that they are broken and they know that sometime they will change that. Others refuse to change and they say, “If I am wrong, God will forgive me,” without realising that they need to receive forgiveness from people.
How do we find true faith, true life, true prayer, not made in my image but in the image of God? That is something we are searching for. That is the whole problem of faith today, where Christians stand or fall.

In pilgrimage our ways are crushed and the ways of God discovered – and this is in Sacraments. So the ultimate objective of our pilgrimage is Sacraments. We find God in Sacraments. So all the questions that you have in this area of morality, dogmas, human relationships, prayers – all the answers are in the Sacraments. There is the solution to every problem and every question there could be, or would ever be – in the Sacraments.

So in pilgrimage our ultimate goal is to encounter God in the Sacraments. In Sacraments we will see his face. Outside the Sacraments we will not be able to find him and he will not be able to find us. This means something very, very important, like Sunday Mass. The Eucharist is THE Sacrament of our faith. All the other Sacraments lead us towards the Eucharist, the Holy Communion with God and with each other. The fulfilment of this Sacrament will be in Heaven, the Holy Communion with God.

NOT TO BE THERE…

When we return home, the pilgrimage begins. We don’t really realise the consequence of our physical appearance. The world has led us to believe that the power of opinion is crucial – and that’s as wrong as it could be.

It’s not feelings – we say, “I didn’t feel right, so I didn’t go to church. I didn’t feel I wanted to go.” The ultimate act against God is not to be there for Sunday Mass. That’s all one could do, not to be there. That’s the sin of every sin and the source of every other sin – not to be there. That’s as far as we can go in sin, not to be there. If you are not there you are absolutely not there. We don’t realise that. If you are not there you are somewhere else, so you are or you are not.

It’s more than a soldier who has to be in his own place and nowhere else. When a soldier is not in his own place at the time he needs to be, that’s treason. In war, that’s as far as you can go. When I am not at church on Sunday, every church in the world is empty and broken, annihilated because I am not there. We don’t realise this.

When you come to Mass, it’s the most you can do. So pilgrimage is when I come to Mass. So when you come to church you might be crushed, you might have doubts, you don’t like the priest, you don’t like this or that, BUT you are there. The problems of the Church arise when we decide not to be there, to be anywhere, to do anything.

ABORTION MENTALITY…

This attitude begins with the mentality of abortion. This may be challenging for you. Not to be in church on Sunday is the touch of abortion, to be pulled out of the Body of Christ and to be thrown into the garbage of the world. When we are not in the Body of Christ we are thrown into the garbage. That’s when the mentality of abortion comes.

With prayer, Our Lady would like us to be in the right place at the right time. When you are there, in the right place at the right time, then the world can count on you. Otherwise the world will lead you anywhere, the world will decide where you go. The things of the world, the attitudes of the world, the values of the world, will take over – and who cares? In pilgrimage we go on a journey for God, that we are able to say, “God, count on me. I will go wherever you call me.” When we create a mentality of pilgrimage and prayer then we will be there when God calls us.

A prayer we should say every day is, “God, please protect other people from me.” When we want to squeeze someone’s neck and not feel sorry for it, we have to postpone our JUST reaction (and God will give us a hint). That’s when we suffer most, when we postpone our just reaction.

Fr Svetozar Kraljevic OFM

First Session of Commission on Medjugorje

(Source: © Informativni centar “Mir” Međugorje www.medjugorje.hr.)

SEE: Video – Commission investigating Medjugorje apparitions begins work

VaticanRome (IKA) – The Holy See Press Office published on April 13, 2010 report from the first session of International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje, held on March 26th,2010. International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje is being presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, who used to be Vicar of Rome Diocese and includes several cardinals and archbishops, many of whom serve on Vatican congregations or Pontifical Councils. These members include, Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna, and president of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina; Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb and vice-president of the Council of European Bishops’ Conference; Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts and Archbishop Angelo Amato,  prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The commission also includes specialists such as Msgr. Tony Anatrella, psychoanalyst and specialist in Social Psychiatry; Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, professor of Fundamental Theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy; Fr. David Maria Jaeger, O.F.M., consultant to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Fr. Zdzislaw Jozef Kijas, O.F.M. Conv., relator of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Fr. Salvatore M. Perrella, O.S.M., teacher of Mariology at the Pontifical Marianum Faculty of Theology and Fr. Achim Schutz, professor of Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical Lateran University as secretary. Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel, an officer of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, serves as additional secretary.
Other experts participating in the commission’s work include Fr. Franjo Topic, professor of Fundamental Theology in Sarajevo; Fr. Mijo Nikic, S.J., professor of Psychology and Psychology of Religion at the Philosophical and Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb; Fr. Mihaly Szentmartoni, S.J., professor of Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University and Sr. Veronica Nela Gaspar, professor of Theology at Rijeka.

As it was announced earlier on, the work of this Commission is not going to be open for the public and all conclusions and findings will be subject to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Vatican confirms names of Medjugorje commission

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

(Source: www.crownofstars.blogspot.com)

The following statement was released by the Vatican Press Office this afternoon and confirms most of the names speculated in past weeks as being members of the Medjugorje Commission:

“The International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje met for its first session on 26 March 2010.

“The Commission, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, his Holiness’ vicar general emeritus for the diocese of Rome, is composed of the following members:

“Cardinal Jozef Tomko
prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
Cardinal Vinko Puljic
Archbishop of Vrhbosna, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina;
Cardinal Josip Bozanic
Archbishop of Zagreb and vice-president of the Council of European Bishops’ Conference;
Cardinal Julian Herranz
president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
Archbishop Angelo Amato SDB
prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;
Msgr Tony Anatrella
psychoanalyst and specialist in Social Psychiatry;
Msgr Pierangelo Sequeri
professor of Fundamental Theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy;
Fr David Maria Jaeger OFM
consultant to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
Fr Zdzislaw Jozef Kijas OFM Conv.
relator of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints;
Fr Salvatore M Perrella OSM
teacher of Mariology at the Pontifical Marianum Faculty of Theology;
Fr Achim Schutz,
professor of Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical Lateran University as secretary.
Msgr Krzysztof Nykiel
an officer of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith serves as additional secretary.”

“Other experts have also participated in the commission’s work:
Fr Franjo Topic
professor of Fundamental Theology in Sarajevo;
Fr Mijo Nikic SJ
professor of Psychology and Psychology of Religion at the Philosophical and Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb,
Fr Mihaly Szentmartoni SJ
professor of Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University
Sr Veronica Nela Gaspar,
professor of Theology at Rijeka.”

“As announced previously, the work of the Commission will be carried out with the utmost reserve. Its conclusions will be submitted to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for study.”

Medjugorje Commission… first session underway

Thursday, 25 March 2010

(Source: www.crownofstars.blogspot.com)

According to the Office of the Archbishop of Zagreb the first session of the Holy See’s International Commission to study the Medjugorje phenomenon has started today and will end on Friday. Archbishop of Zagreb, cardinal Josip Bozanić, is one of 20 members attending this first session at the CDF in Rome.

Considering that an official announcement of the new Commission was made only seven days ago, the speed at which this first session has got underway suggests that Rome is in a hurry to make an announcement of some kind, though not necessarily to reach a final verdict on the Medjugorje phenomenon.

Heading the Commission is Cardinal Camillo Ruini.

Statement of Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina about International Commission for Medjugorje

Monday, 22 March 2010

(Source: © Informativni centar “Mir” Međugorje www.medjugorje.hr.)

Archbishop Allessandro D'Errico

Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico

Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico, Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave statement about Medjugorje on March 18th at the end of 48th Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the statement broadcasted by Radio Mir Medjugorje, he amongst other things said: “Whenever I would meet Holy Father, he was always very much interested in Medjugorje. He was involved in everything, starting with the time when he was Head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is aware that this is the issue of special importance, and he, as supreme authority of the Church, needs to give his precise statement about that matter. Holy Father is very much familiar with Medjugorje phenomenon; he even mentioned that to me personally. He is aware of huge amount of positive and good influence of local priests, religious, Franciscans, lay people, and therefore, it is very difficult for him to perceive that there can be so many opposing information about the same matter.

That is why he wanted to establish this Commission that is on really high level. He wanted to establish this Commission in order for him to have broad picture about this matter, but according to the people who have highest qualities and skills. That is why he invited Cardinals, Bishops and experts from different parts of the world to be part of this Commission.

On March 17th it was officially announced that Chairman of this Commission is going to be Cardinal Ruini, very prestigious cardinal, who has great qualities, and also close associate to Holy Father, and his friend not only in this period while he is the pope. Cardinal Ruini is very much familiar with situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina; he especially knows the situation from the war period, when he used to be President of Bishop’s Conference of Italy. At that time, he brought decision that Italian Church and Bishop’s Conference of Italy become more involved in helping to all wounded nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

What is especially interesting, and shows Holy Father’s great sympathy for this country, is that he wanted this information about Commission to be announced publicly at the same time, both in Vatican as well as in Mostar, since Medjugorje is in territory of Mostar Diocese. I know well that media spoke a lot about this Commission for a longer period of time, and certain expectations were made. Today, we can say that we are pleased and grateful to Holy Father for this attention that he expressed towards Mostar and our Catholic communities. That is how I, on behalf of Holy Father, announced this decision on March 17th, at the same time when decision was announced in Rome. We understand that work of this Commission is going to be very demanding, and I would like to invite all of our communities to pray and to offer work of this Commission to St. Joseph and to Mary, Mother of Church, patron saints of Mostar.

Fr. Sesar’s reaction to the Commission on Medjugorje

Thursday, 18 March 2010

(Source: © Informativni centar “Mir” Međugorje www.medjugorje.hr.)

St. James Church in MedjugorjePress office of Holy See reported on Wednesday, March 17th that Holy See, as a part of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, established International Commission that will be investigating phenomenon of Medjugorje. Camillo Ruini is the Chairman of Commission that was made of cardinals, bishops and experts. During the press conference in Vatican, Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of Holy See Press Office, explained that mentioned Commission will be operating with full discretion, and that all results that will follow after long term operation, will be delivered to Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico, Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave this information to bishops of Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as instructed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone.

Nuncio D’Errico also shared this information with all faithful at the end of Eucharistic celebration in Mostar Cathedral of Mary, Mother of the Church.

Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, said the following in his statement for Vecernji list, Croatian newspaper: “This is not surprise for us. We are excited about the whole matter and completely open for any kind of cooperation. Everything that happens in Medjugorje is not a secret, everything is available to public. Everybody who has good intentions and who is interested for phenomenon of Medjugorje, can personally come and see what is happening. When it comes to Franciscan Province of Herzegovina, and to this parish entrusted to Province, we are absolutely open to any kind of cooperation, and we are prepared to help them in their work by providing them every information they might need.”

Vatican announces Commission to study Medjugorje

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Vatican press office announces Medjugorje commission

[Source: crownofstars]
Vatican City, March 17, 2010 / 09:56 am (CNA/EWTN News)

Cardinal Camillo Ruini

Cardinal Camillo Ruini

A statement was released by the Holy See on Wednesday confirming the formation of a commission to investigate the “phenomenon” of Medjugorje.

The Vatican communique reads: “Under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the presidency of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, an international commission of investigation on Medjugorje has been constituted. Said Commission, composed of cardinals, bishops and experts will work in a reserved manner, subjecting the results of their studies to the authority of the Dicastery.”

Vatican spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, said that no other information was available at this point besides the role of Cardinal Ruini as president. However, he did say that the commission will be formed by “more or less” 20 members.

Fr Federico Lombardi

Fr Lombardi

Responding to a question from a journalist about the possible inclusion of Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar, whose diocese includes Medjugorje, Fr Lombardi said that he is not in possession of a list of members.

The Vatican spokesman reviewed the history of investigations into the possible Marian apparitions of Medjugorje, noting that they began on a diocesan level. When it was seen that the “phenomenon was broader than the diocese,” it was passed on to the episcopal conference of the former Yugoslavia, which, he noted, no longer exists.

The commissions at those levels never came to a conclusion on the question of whether or not the alleged apparitions are supernatural, so the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina have asked the CDF to take over investigations, the Vatican spokesman explained.

As the commission carries out their activities, Fr Lombardi continued, they will decide whether or not to communicate information regarding their findings. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that it will be a “very discreet” project “given the sensitivity of the subject,” he remarked.

Speaking in Italian, he said to expect that investigations will take “a good while” to reach their completion and emphasized that the results of the commission’s activities will be submitted to the CDF, under whose mandate they are operating. The commission will only offer their technical findings to the Congregation, which in turn will “make decisions on the case.”

For now, the composition of the commission is “reserved,” as is the method they will pursue in their investigations, Fr Lombardi said in closing.

Medjugorje and Shrine status

St. James Church in MedjugorjeIf the Holy See is to grant International Shrine status to Medjugorje, then careful scrutiny of liturgical practices is part of the process, and where any practices and customs are deemed not to be in harmony with criteria laid down for Shrine status, then changes are necessary in order to match the standards required.

In reaching its decision on Shrine status, the Holy See will not be focusing on personalities, priests, bishops and visionaries. It will not be deciding on the question of the apparitions. It will be guided by the Canon and Liturgical Law of the Church appertaining to Shrines and their status.

The Code of Canon Law (1983) includes the following Canons relating to Shrines:

Canon 1230 The term shrine means a church or other sacred place which, with the approval of the local Ordinary, is by reason of special devotion frequented by the faithful as pilgrims.

Canon 1231 For shrine to be described as national, the approval of the Episcopal Conference is necessary. For it to be described as international, the approval of the Holy See is required.

Canon 1232 (i) The local Ordinary is competent to approve the statutes of a diocese and shrine; the Episcopal Conference, those of a national shrine, the Holy See alone, those of an international shrine.

Canon 1232 (ii) The statutes of a shrine are to determine principally, the authority of the rector, and the ownership and administration of its property.

Canon 1233 Certain privileges may be granted to shrines when the local circumstances, the number of pilgrims, and especially the good of the faithful would seem to make this advisable.

Canon 124 (i) At shrines the means of salvation are to be more abundantly made available to the faithful: by sedulous proclamation of the word of God, by suitable encouragement of liturgical life, especially by the celebration of the Eucharist and penance, and by the fostering of approved forms of popular devotion.

Canon 124 (ii) In shrines or in places adjacent to them, votive offerings of popular art are to be displayed and carefully safeguarded.

Please pray that the Holy See will grant Shrine status to Medjugorje.