Saturday, October 31, 2009

Papal Nuncio - Archbishop Stephan Zurbriggen - in Medjugorje

The following was blogged on "Our Blessed Mother's Children" on 30/10/2009:

The Vatican’s Apostolic Nuncio of Austria was in Medjugorje this week for four days with a large group of Austrian pilgrims estimated at more than 1,000.Last Sunday, Archbishop Stephan Zurbriggen told the congregation at the English-speaking Mass that his benediction carried with it a special papal indulgence (with the usual conditions attached) for all those able to attend the Masses at which he was the Celebrant while he was in Medjugorje.peace and blessings.
This is certainly a bright spot for followers of Medjugorje at a time when conspiracy theorists and anti-Medjugorje campaigners have been having a field day over such recent events as the laicisation of Fr. Tomislav Vlasic and a recent speech by Bishop Ratko Peric.

We sincerely hope that this is a strong indicator of the stance the Vatican will take when we finally receive the long-awaited official Vatican proclamation on Medjugorje, which is expected before the end of 2009, after some 3 years of a new investigation have been carried out since its announcement by Cardinal Vinko Puljic in 2007. [Note: The most we can reasonably hope for at this stage is that Medjugorje be granted International Shrine status until the visions have ceased and the promised sign materialises. But, that should keep most Medjugorje followers happy, given that the longer the apparitions go on, the better for the world. Certainly, nobody should be hoping for a fast conclusion to the visions as that would likely mean that Our Lady had not been able to hold back the just hand of God any longer and that the secrets are about to unfold.]

Because of the extremely clandestine nature of this investigation, at least one conspiracy theorist - Richard Salbato of Unity Publishing - who claimed to have intimate Vatican connections, was led to believe that the investigation was not going to happen.

To date, reports from the Vatican and over the grapevine have always been just vague enough to allow both sides of the fence to defend their respective positions. The often bitter split in the Catholic Church over Medjugorje has never healed. It's still too early to count our chickens, but it's difficult to see how this news could not change that situation. Coming just weeks before an expected conclusion, it is almost impossible to see this as anything other than a rather loud pre-emptive statement as to what we can expect in terms of the official Vatican declaration at the end of this year.


  1. Paul, I feel you are mistaken in thinking that the Holy See will approve the alledged apparitions and messages from Medjugorje before the end of the year. This will not be decided, one way or another, until after the apparitions have concluded.

    What the Holy See may be preparing to do is to give its approval for International Shrine status. This is different to giving the nod to the apparitions.

    So any announcement hinted at by the Cardinal from Sarajevo, if it is forthcoming (there is some doubt on his part) will probably only give some kind of clarification as to what is to be expected with any approval of shrine status.

  2. Thanks, yes, theoretically, it can't be the "final" nod until the apparitions have concluded and the promised sign materialised. Most people realise, however, that to bestow Shrine Status on Medjugorje is all that can be expected at this point in time, given that even greater longevity of apparitions means that God is extending His mercy and allowing more time for souls to be converted. So, given that it is desirable for the apparitions to go on long enough to convert every abortionist in the world (for example) before any of the secrets (particularly the more nasty ones) unfold, Shrine status is all that we should probably be hoping for at this time. If something MORE is offered by the Vatican, well, what a fantastic bonus that would be!

  3. Shrine status for Medjugorje without "approving" the ongoing apparitions is the best scenario for the Church and pilgrims at this time. It is a win-win all the way around. I would be shocked if there were a ruling that would be different from this. It would be interesting to see exactly what the "Shrine" would encompass - St. James church and Cross Mountain perhaps? I doubt it would include Apparition Hill.

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