Cardinal Saraiva, also, is a skeptic about the apparitions at Medjugorje
"The last word is up to the Holy See, but this has nothing to do with Fatima: it could be a trick of the devil"
Other languages: English, Italiano
Date: January 30, 2010
Category: Shepherds of Church
by Gianluca Barile for Petrus, www.papanews.it
VATICAN CITY - The alleged apparitions of Medjugorje continue to inspire debate and sustain polemics, within and without the Church. Thus the presence at New Year's of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, in the little Bosnia-Herzegovina locality, was only the most recent occasion to confirm the tension existing in the place where, since the 1980s, the Madonna is said to have appeared to six "seers".
The Austrian cardinal, in fact, celebrated Mass for the faithful coming from around the world, but did not inform the diocesan bishop, Monsignor Ratko Peric, of his presence. Bishop Peric, is still, like his predecessor, unconvinced of the validity of the phenomena, and has publicly objected in the face of what he, evidently, considers an offense. All that has happened, while Pope Benedict XVI, who has had the opportunity to deal with Medjugorje since he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is said to have decided (but there has been no official confirmation of the matter yet) to entrust to Cardinal Camillo Ruini the coordination of a Commission to definitively ascertain the truth on the authenticity, or lack thereof, of the apparitions in this small country of the former Yugoslavia. But what, then, are the fruits of Medjugorje? Those who believe in the seers speak of miraculous cures, deliverances from evil, conversions; it is beyond doubt that many people pray, receive Holy Communion, and make confessions in the town. But the "skeptics", those who do not believe in the authenticity of the apparitions, underscore the division among the people of God, between supporters and opponents, to show that this is a case of deception. "Devil", after all, means: "he who divides". We spoke about this complicated event with the Portuguese Cardinal José Saraiva Martins (see photo), a close and trusted collaborator first of the Venerable John Paul II and later of the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI; rector of the 'Urbaniana' University much praised by Paul VI; a theologian, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and a great expert on the Marian apparition, officially recognized by the Church, of Fatima.
Eminence, in your opinion, are the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje to be considered true or false?
It is said that the Holy See wants to wait as long as possible before expressing itself.
How should a faithful Catholic who wants to go on pilgrimage to Medjugorje proceed?
And are the conversions a sufficient reason to believe in Medjugorje?
Let's turn to the "seers". Some people accuse them of having invented everything, and of having economic interests, and some think that in reality, the demon is appearing to them in the guise of the Madonna in order to bring divisions into the Church, even at the price of some conversions, Do you not think so?
Again in reference to the "seers", none of them, in contrast to the overwhelming majority of other seers recognized officially by the Church, has chosen consecrated life. One of them has even married an American model and lives in the USA in a mega-villa with a swimming pool.
On this subject: the "seers" assert that the apparitions of Medjugorje are the natural successors of the apparitions of Fatima.
Eminence, in some of the apparitions, the Virgin is said to have asked the six "seers" of Medjugorje not to obey the prohibitions of their diocesan Bishop, such as, for example, to not speak publicly any more of the alleged "visions".
The Bishop of Mostar recently made known his own displeasure at not being informed of the presence of Cardinal Schönborn at Medjugorje. A "weighty" presence, that some could interpret erroneously as a recognition of the apparitions on the part of the Holy See.
Translation from the Italian original to English: Richard Chonac, Catholic Light