(Source: Children of Medjugorje October Newsletter)
The International Retreat for Priests at Ars (France) was a great success! 1,200 priests came from 75 different countries, happy to put themselves under the wings of Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna, Austria. Not later than in the first day (Sept 29), the Cardinal didn’t hesitate to mention Medjugorje. Here are his words:
“Let us speak about the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Sr Faustina calls Confession “the Court of Mercy”. What is it about this Sacrament in our lives as priests and Bishops and also in our pastoral work? How can we not pose this question to ourselves here in Ars? In our countries of Europe, but for some exceptions, I have the impression that the practice of this Sacrament enormously regressed and in certain areas almost disappeared.
There are certainly bastions of confession today. I think particularly of Medjugorje. I dare speak of that because for 28 years it has become one of the greatest bastions of Confession. Thousands, thousands, thousands of people go to Confession!
I recall simply to clarify. What does the Church say about it? Just to reiterate between parenthesis: The official position of the Episcopal Conference of ex-Yougoslavia and also of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated:
“Non constat de supernaturalitate”. It means that it is not sure that it is supernatural, but it is not excluded. It remains open. The jugement of the Church is not pronounced yet. (There are three possibilities: “Constat de supernaturalitate”, “Non constat de supernaturalitate”, and “Constat de non supernaturalitate”.)
For the moment the Church has not made a pronouncement, but she says two other things:
– Since Medjugorje is not officially approved by the Church, one cannot organize an official pilgrimage. (See PS1)
– Since there are many faithful who go to this place, it is opportune that one takes care of the pilgrimage pastorally, and that one pastorally accompanies the faithful in this step. This is what has happened for the past 28 years.
Certainly our places of pilgrimage are bastions (strongholds) for Confession. This is my experience, and that of many of my brother priests who exercised the ministry of Confession in places of pilgrimage. But especially in Medjugorje, they were overwhelmed by the experience of Confession.” (Translated from French)
These words from Cardinal Schonborn were spoken in the full assembly of the priests. They are recorded and filmed, and the CD and DVDs will be soon available to all (See mariamultimedia.com). Those who have suffered for Medjugorje these last months because of some confusion in the Media, will find here a good reason to take heart again! (See PS1)