Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Cloudy Lens of Dianne Korzeniewski on Medjugorje and Franciscans

Dianne Korzeniewski seems, on the surface, to be an honest and good Catholic woman who, according to her self-description enjoys "sharing the faith as I see it through the lens of my camera".

The problem is her lens becomes decidedly cloudy on the issue of Medjugorje, and I don't know why. For some time now I have suspected that there is a type of dark stronghold that makes the minds of certain people completely and irrationally closed to some potentially powerful good, that God wishes to accomplish, and/or renders them incapable of just leaving things alone for the Vatican to figure out.

She pokes and prods and seeks and searches for the anything that can be found, alluded to, intimated or whispered which can be used against Medjugorje and the Franciscans. It seems to possess these people and they won't listen to any reason.

On the subject of Medjugorje, all I have ever asked of detractors like Dianne is this: Let the Vatican decide and stop making your own negative judgments. If you can't do that and if you are going to publicly condemn an apparition, against the wishes of the Holy See, and against wisdom and sensibility, at least provide a balanced report. Balance is so far from her reports on Medjugorje, you simply cannot tolerate it and must speak out in order to preserve the balance in the minds of those who are perhaps less educated about Medjugorje and easily swayed by such awful reporting.

Dianne's latest lens fog occurred on April 7, 2013 on her blog. There, she embarks on a creative exercise in rebuilding the Mostar/Herzegovinian affairs in such a way to make the Franciscans look like convicts deserving of death row and the local bishops as being on the brink of spontaneous canonisation. She summarizes her creation with:

Many Medjugorje enthusiasts...are left with the impression that this is a "Bishop vs. Franciscan" disagreement, often creating contempt for the local bishop. In reality, it is the Franciscans vs. the Holy See.
Do not be fooled. Dianne has apparently not fully versed herself on these affairs and probably has only read versions from the "dark side" shall we say. Indeed, she invokes Donal Foley - a known acrid Medjugorje antagonist.

The reason it came down to an issue between the Vatican and the Franciscans is when the Franciscans appealed to the Holy See to intervene in the abhorrent injustices that were occurring out of sight of the Holy See as the newly-arrived secular clergy carried out their policy of divesting Franciscans of their parishes in a way that would not have been approved by the Vatican if they had known about it. Indeed, the Vatican eventually realised what was going on and made token gestures at repairing the damage, but much was too late to be undone.

Diane cites the DECREE ROMANIS PONTIFICIBUS as the killer blow to the Franciscans, after which nothing more can be said. But, as usual Diane fails to provide the balance. Indeed, there is much more to the story.

Decree Romanis Pontificibus was essentially the result of, at best, a misunderstanding, at worst (according to the Franciscans)  an outright con, i.e. the Vatican was duped by misleading statements made by the seculars, including the use of the term "mutual agreement" and the overlooking of certain preconditions whereby certain parishes were to be retained by the Franciscans. This resulted in a letter from the Franciscans to the Pope in 1976, noting that the Decree Romanis Pontificibus was contradictory to the truth. The Franciscans henceforth never ceased with negotiations and discussions, resulting eventually in an "Alleviated" Implementation of the Decree of 1975, whereby parishes were to be redistributed by negotiation between the parties. These efforts appear to have been blocked at every turn by the secular Bishop and nothing was ever resolved.

I encourage all readers to familiarise themselves with these affairs and particularly to read the Franciscans' side of the story. My blog has information here, which should open a few eyes, hopefully. It is truly fascinating stuff. You'll see the full progression of events and motives. It won't open Dianne's eyes. If she reads it, she'll probably stop right at the beginning where it says.

With Austria now the dominant force in the region, a new Church hierarchy was born. Austria didn't want the Slavs and Croats unified into a strong local Bosnian population, desiring to keep them as separate and uneducated as possible. But, the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Franciscans were considered a threat to the fulfilment of this plan because they stressed and promoted a Croatian belonging. The Austrians thus felt is was necessary to diminish the influx and influence of the Franciscans. And so it came about that a succession of Austrian secular bishops came to the region to implement Austrian policy.

What was that policy? Divest the Franciscans of their parishes and send them into exile.

She needs to rebuke her own irrational hatred towards Medjugorje as a starting point. But, I'm hoping I can save a few from being conned into viewing things through her dirty lens and to see it freshly through their own.

Please understand that I do not wish intentionally to speak against any bishop or any clergy. God placed them in their positions of authority, including the Bishops of Mostar in all their imperfect glory. We owe them our love, prayers and support, but at the same time we are not asked to jump into the mouths of wolves in our quest to be obedient. If I am proven wrong about anything, I will certainly heed it.

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