Bishops in Medjugorje and About Medjugorje until 2001
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Bishops in Medjugorje and About Medjugorje, part XII
The visit of the Nigerian Archbishop to Medjugorje, March 1995
For the third time now, the Nigerian archbishop Gabriel Gonsum Ganaka has visited Medjugorje. He came on a private pilgrimmage and this is what he had to say on that occasion:
"From the time that the faithful of my diocese started to come to Medjugorje, I felt an obligation to come and see what was happening here, and to feel the radiation of that strong prayer. I can still remember my first visit to Medjugorje, it left a deep impression on me. Our Lady's messages are simple, practical and they change your life. I know that the Church hasn't yet approved the apparitions and I will submit to her judgement. Pope Urban the eigth, said that it is always better to believe than not to believe in private revelations. When the Church then approves, you have gained. But while I am awaiting their decision I still speak about Medjugorje to many priests, nuns and lay people. I preached in 12 diocese and I always mentioned the apparitions at Medjugorje. I have acquisted some books and films so that people can become better acquainted with it's happenings. Here there is something truly special. The message has spread all over the world, something attracts people here. I have met people who pray the whole rosary daily. I know one person, who, since their visit to Medjugorje, has devoted himself to praying for priests....In my archdiocese, the message of Medjugorje has changed many people, even in the convents and monasteries, life has changed since they heard the message. But we must extend the message even further, and that's why I wish to know as much as posssible about the happenings today. Many groups have been set up to pray for peace just as Our Lady wished. If we look at the messages from Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje, we see how similar they are: peace, conversion and penance. All the messages are biblical and are very important. They have nothing contrary to the Bible. The priests from my diocese would love to come to Medjugorje but it isn't always that simple. But it would be very important for them to be able to come, to see, and to experience Medjugorje.
Just as I wouldn't allow myself, so too I do not allow anyone else to judge without seeing. I myself as archbishop would encourage all those who have not yet come to do so, and not to listen to the gossip of others, or make judgements about people whom they do not know. Only then can you govern your own decision. Meeting the visionaries and the priests who work here, I see fruits which I esteem highly and which inspire me. I am very thankful that I can come and I will bear witness to Medjugorje. It's important that we all respond, then peace will come to all. I promise all pilgrims and freindsof Medjugorje my prayers and my blessing, and I intercede for all of them in prayer."
The visit of the Argentinian Bishop to Medjugorje
On the occasion of his visit to Medjugorje, in February 1995, the Argentinian bishop Rubeir H.di Monteo had this to say:
"I came to know about Medjugorje reading the messages of Our Lady. I felt deeply that this was Our Lady's way of speaking. The direct motive of my coming to Medjugorje was the deep conversion of my two cousins which took place on the occasion of their visit to Medjugorje. One of them had been a communist and the other a fascist. It was really these fruits which pushed me to come and see what's really happening here. The theology of Our Lady's messages here seems to me to be sound and healthy and I understand it to be a continuation of Fatima. Even over the last century we can see a whole process of Our Lady's activities: Rue de Bac, Lourdes, Fatima and if you ask me, Medjugorje as the focal point of her deeds which she started at Rue de Bac. She invites to a change of heart. Here where there is so much suffering, prayer and reconciliation through the sacrament of confession, we are offered the possibility of this. In Medjugorje, we find a deep spirit of conversion, prayer and penance. Our Lady's messages are evangelical; prayer, fasting and conversion. Living Christ's messages of peace, a change of heart becomes possible through conversion and prayer and in turn eases divine justice.
The messages of Medjugorje are messages of hope. Many of today's events and happenings make this world a worse place. I am giving myself over to supernatural hope, because human hope is not enough."
Archbishop Frane Franic's position on Medjugorje
Franjo Franic is well known in the life of church and the Croatian people. His voice is always listened to with interest.
He became a Bishop in 1950. He participated in the second Vatican Council. As an Archbishop he directed the archdiocese of Split- Makarska (until 1988). It is the archdiocese which neighbours the one in which Medjugorje is to be found.
In an offficial journal of his archdiocese," The Herald of the Split-Makarska archdiocese" 1985, he concisely expressed his position about Medjugorje. He recalled his first visit to Medjugorje before Christmas in 1981. He had wanted to see with his own eyes, that which he had read and heard about. He was convinced of the supernatural origins of the apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje and he immediately began to compare them with Fatima. He said that Medjugorje throws great and new light on the prophesy of Fatima. In the same way it substantiates the teaching of the second Vatican Council about ecumenism.