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.


  1. ...dirty lens...irrational hatred....jump into the mouths of wolves...without true humility one cannot understand the necessity of obedience to a spiritual elder...indeed obedience is a mortification of the reason which in itself strengthens ones faith and resolve mortifies the memory so that we hope in the things unseen..obedience is the tuning fork that allows all the other virtues to work in unison and so we can truly say that we are singing a song in unison and praising God as calumniate a bishop who is exercising his proper authority and by calling him a wolf will not endear one to Jesus who through his great commission planted the seed for all the forthcoming successors to the Jesus said he who does not enter the sheepfold through the door (the church itself is a spiritual extension of the mystical body of Christ) the bishops help gaurd over that door...that same person is a thief and robber...sincce this person seeks to enter by their own cunning and their own discernment...bishops rendering judgements under their duly appointed directives are not wolves...on the contrary one who claims they see the virign before the church has established any definative judgement is indeed acting over and above the power of the church..through pride and conceit and presumption....indeed God through the sacraments has achieved some good however the overall effect of ignoring the local ordinaries has caused a spiritual calamity in medjugorje...when we believe what we want when we want then we are guilty of spiritual impetuosity it is gluttony in that we are catering to our fancy and we do not mortify our will to that of God which is the basis of eucharist..if we go to receive Jesus in the eucharist yet we secretly despise his bishops then we see we are cancelling out the good we strive for by our darkened interior disposition...eucharist is about disposition to God and to neighbour...we see in medjugorje there is an element of imbalance...people approaching eucharist with a view to God however they are hating on God through defiance of his the analysis they are no closer to heaven ..however through pride and duplicity we are fooled into thinking we are further ahead..yet in reality we are deceived....when we call the bishop a wolf then we see that this person does not love God...they love themself and so they do not approach eucharist with a view at gaining God through service to their neighbour...we cannot love God if we do not love our neighbour...when we fast on bread and water yet feast on the character of the bishop through detraction and calumny we cancel the one good out by the bad...people who are astute will see the duplicity at play yet through pride the commitants are blinded by inordinate self-love....

    1. First of all, I am not calling the bishop a wolf. The use of the phrase "jump into the mouth of wolves" is obviously not literal. An real-world example of not jumping into the mouths of wolves might be when the faithful, confused about whether they should take the local ordinary literally when he ordered people not to come to Medjugorje, wrote a letter to the Vatican asking just this. In response, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone wrote his now-well-known letter, which relieved the faithful of their confusion. If they had not undertaken to write to the Vatican, their obedience would have been misplaced. They would have missed out on something special. They would have lost their freedom.

      Obviously the Vatican should be heeded above any bishop. Dianne seems to overlook this.

      Unfortunately, people like me exist because of the disobedience and lies of others, such as Dianne and perhaps yourself if you follow her and her ilk, who have taken it upon themselves to speak for the truth of the Medjugorje apparitions using little more than speculation and innuendo, using largely the writings of the Bishop of Mostar. The Vatican asked him not to spread his inflammatory opposition, who nevertheless spread it across the globe.

      Dianne and her cronies essentially take over where he left off, against the wishes of the Vatican, who are at great pains to be objective and look at all sides. Talk about disobedience, nay complete foolishness, if you consider what God might indeed be trying to do through Medjugorje, yet she dares stand in the way of Him. Look up "The Wisdom of Gamaliel"

      If she and her slime ball friends want to continue to disobey the wishes of the Vatican, and continue using the "obedience" card in respect of the Bishop, and continue to urge the world to obey him with threat of hell, then be prepared to listen to the balance of the story. I will not allow people like Diane lead the world away from Medjugorje, and potentially subtract from God's harvest until the Vatican has spoken.

      Nothing calumnous has been said. Just plain facts. The Bishop condemned Medjugorje, the Vatican didn't. The Bishop said "Do not come to Medjugorje". The Vatican said "Come!". When Bishop Zanic went to Rome to push his negative verdict, he was told "No, you are going to dissolve your diocesan commission. The verdict is transferred to the Bishops Conference."

      Dianne will never tell anyone this and she and her cadre continue to protest that Medjugorje is evil, the Franciscans are all just a bunch of disobedience rogues (talk about calumny), the visionaries are all con artists (more lies and calumny) and, only because it suits her cause, continues to slap down the obedience card. She doesn't tell anyone why it is possible that people AREN'T obeying the bishop, she doesn't tell people the history of the region and the track record of the local Bishops. She never tells people how the Vatican has become involved in dealing with the local Bishop. There is no balance in her reporting.

      With love and concern for God's elected shepherds, I try to provide that balance, if simply to do some small part in preserving God's harvest. Not that her hellish voice is actually being heeded because pilgrim numbers to Medjugorje are still vast, healings continue and the tree is overloaded with fruit. Praise God! If a single person gets to hear the full story, travels to Medjugorje and is healed and converted, I've done some good.

      Please pray for our shepherds!

  2. I offer a Hail Mary for Bishop Ratko Peric and all God's shepherds. Maybe readers who stumble across this blog could spend a minute to join me. It's for the good of all of us, regardless of our stance on Medjugorje:

    "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen.

  3. ..... Keep praying...if we realize that God loves everyone..even the most hardened sinner...and that he stoops to conquer...let us all try and follow ...through humility let us stoop to conquer our pride and learn to love each other.. many hearts resigned through the one heart in unison..thanks God bless..God is a fire that does not consumes..let us hew branches from the tall cedars (the virtues) making a bonfire of love in our hearts..let obedience and humility be the hands that garner our labour..God bless

  4. Paul, I am just wondering what you would say in the case of the confirmations that have been performed? If the priests have been dismissed, the confirmations would indeed be invalid - and illicit. Wouldn't you say that out of prudence these confirmations should have been performed by clerics in communion so as not to cause any doubt that the sacrament has been validly performed or to cause scandal? If we look at the example of Padre Pio who was unfairly suspended in not being able to say Mass, hear confessions etc but was entirely obedient (even despite the intense suffering involved) such obedience and silence is possible whilst still maintaining one's own innocence.

    I would also like to add in all charity that name-calling (like 'slime ball') is not a good idea.

    In all cases of discernment, one can use their own reason. You may disagree with Dianne's conclusions, you may be able to offer different information that will widen the understanding of this case, however, she, like you, appears to be searching for one thing: the TRUTH. If we believe that truth is not being upheld in any homily, apparition or whatever, we have an obligation as Church Militant to question it and defend the truth and the Church. Argue, by all means! But always with a spirit of charity and humility - a balance I am still trying to find myself.

    Satan wants division, and likes nothing more than to see Catholics tear each other apart. Lets not allow him the satisfaction.

    1. It's clear you've chosen your camp. Sorry, but if you think Diane is seeking the truth as regards Medjugorje, you are simply not reading her material or you are reading it with a large dose of naivety. Simple as that really.

      You speak of division and not giving satan the satisfaction. This is exactly what I'm fighting against. Division arises and deepens when people like Dianne do not permit peace to exist, by continually bringing up new ways to speak against Medjugorje. Simply type "medjugorje" in the search box of her blog and find a steady stream of new ways she has come up with to make Medjugorje look bad. Read the comments where people have tried to add balance to her comments and read her dismissive answers to those attempts. My blog and comments are designed to neutralise her divisive effects essentially. But, you're essentially calling this a division in itself. Hmmm. So, the alternative is what? - allow her to go unchecked. I am certain the confusion and division would be much worse. There needs to be someone telling the other side of the story, balancing the scales, neutralising the acid.

      Charity is fine, but terms such as "brood of vipers" are not unheard of in referring to those who have their own agendas which go against God's plans, actually or potentially.

  5. Paul, I don't have a tent in either camp! :) I have been to Medjugorje myself and though I have lots of questions (there is a lot of conflicting info out there that is very confusing to wade through) I can say unequivocally that I have never been to a place which is as peaceful, and by that I'm not meaning "sipping cocktails by the pristine beaches" kind of peaceful. It is a spiritual peace. I can also say that I know personally many conversions and even marriages and religious vocations that have their origin in Medjugorje. However, the litmus test for me always lies in obedience. Disobedience (unless it is disobedience against a direct order to deliberately sin) is a clear sign of not being in union with Christ. Do you disagree? And if there is some event of grave injustice, we are still called to be 'obedient unto death'. Injustice does not invalidate our obligation. Look at the Cross, the ultimate injustice! So even if the Franciscans truly believed that their dismissal was unjust, even illicit, why oh why would you put souls in the position of scandal or possible schism with the Church by confirming them this way? I mean, it is not as if these children were going to be denied Confirmation! At the VERY least, for the sake of certainty of the sacrament and prudence these confirmations should not have been performed by the Franciscans. Do you disagree?

    Now. I don't have a problem at all with your discussion of the flip side of things. Not at all. If you knew me you'd know that most of my frustration in our Holy Church is that people don't know or won't stand up for the truth, call a spade a spade and defend the faith - the faith, not some namby-pamby interpretation of theology or scripture especially when it clearly violates Church teaching. But I ramble. That is an issue for another time....
    I get your point about division, and I agree. There is so much division and it dismays me. Yes, unity is NOT achieved by letting untruths stand. But it is not your defense of Medjugorje that is divisive, it is your tone, and the name calling. Be angry, fine! But be careful. You run the risk of many people discounting your words because of this. Believe me. I've been there all too frequently. Don't shoot yourself in the foot.

  6. The tone matches my perception of the wrongness of something. Natural really. You are the second person to home in on the ad hominem aspect. That is indeed interesting. This a symptomatic of today's uber political correctness. It's like when I go and talk on the atheist forums and if you are even slightly unkind, your arguments are instantly forgotten as you become the most abominable Christian ever to have set foot in the place. It's only not OK if you're a Christian, because you're supposed to be perfect, like Christ, but the atheists are totally free of course to say what they like, however they like, because they haven't set themselves on any moral high ground. If I have inadvertently given people an "out" by calling them names, then let them use their own conscience in using that out. I think Dianne would take that with both hands.

  7. ..indeed people are able to travel to medjugorje as anywhere on the planet..the vatican does not have control over free volition..however you forgot to add that no visit to this place in question can be made as a validation of any supernaturality of events occurring (pending further study if warranted).... to do so is a direct trangression of the zadar commission, the local bishop and the CDF (an organ of the Vatican at the Pope's disposal) by saying the Virgin is appearing and by purveying the messages as supernatural communique one is in blatant breach of a Vatican directive and so is disobedient to the pope...nemo auditur propriam turpitudinem allegans.....&....non faciat malum, ut inde veniat bonum....

    1. Certainly, if people weren't already aware of that, it should be made clear (though I would have thought obvious). You are free to travel to Medjugorje by yourself, as part of a group, and even accompanied by a priest. But, obviously, because no official declaration has been made concerning the authenticity of the apparition, the pilgrimage shouldn't be promoted in a way that gives the impression that it is an approved apparition. But John, if people believe in an apparition in their hearts, which they are entitled to do, they will naturally enthuse about it and tend to speak of it positively. Likewise, those that don't believe will express a negative opinion, as we know. Unfortunately, people like Dianne have gone way beyond simply expressing a negative opinion. Their work is tantamount to a deliberate destructive campaign against what may turn out to be the most significant spiritual event of modern times. You tell me which is worse: Innocently enthusing about an apparition or blatantly and maliciously smearing it and all involved with it.


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