Medjegorje ~ Blessed Mother Teresa…an historical perspective

During WWII Medjegorje was the scene of genecide against the Serbian population by the Croatian Ustasi. The blood line of this nationalist group runs right into the present day propagaters of the political manipulation of socio/economic factors in that area. Blessed Mother Teresa was affected by the events leading into the present day ethnic hostility…
In 1908 the Young Turks took power and by 1910 they were insisting on the use of the traditional Arabic alphabet. The Albanians organised massive popular rallies in favour of the Latin alphabet. In March 1910 a popular revolt against the paying of taxes on imported goods to Istanbul spread very quickly. A 20,000-strong army crushed this brutally. In August of that year, after thousands of terrified Albanians had fled as refugees from a new reign of terror, the Ottoman forces took direct control of the region. During the following year this war plunged thousands of
Albanian families into poverty and illness. In 1912 when the Balkan States formed an alliance to divide among themselves the Ottoman possessions in Europe, the Albanians found themselves forced to surrender their neutrality and fight on the side of the declining Ottoman Empire. Soon Skopje was under Serbian occupation. Thus even before the outbreak of the First World War, the young Agnes and her family experienced the bitter fruits of racial, ethnic and religious rivalry. At the end of the Second World War Agnes would once again witness
such hatred and inter-ethnic violence, albeit in another country and another continent. The end of the ‘Great War’, the ‘war to end all wars’
in 1918 only renewed the debate about the new borders of the Balkans. And very shortly the comfortable existence of Agnes and her family would come to an abrupt end. Her father Kole was a passionate defender of Albanian independence. He joined a movement which wanted to keep the province of Kosovo, inhabited mostly by Albanians, in the Greater Albania. In the end, the new federation of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians – known from 1929 as Yugoslavia – received most of northern Albania, including Kosovo. But in 1919 Kole was still arguing his case and even travelled the 160 miles from Skopje to Belgrade to attend a political dinner on the subject. When he arrived back home he was clearly a sick man. It was generally believed that he had been poisoned.
…The family rushed Kole to hospital where he was operated on the next morning. The following day, however, he died. Speaking in 1982 Agnes’s brother Lazar said, “Our family’s suffering began at the time the Yugoslavs and the Albanians fought for Kosovo and the other Albanian provinces, among which included the city of Skopje. Our father was very active in politics and very concerned about the national Albanian issue. He tried to obtain national rights for the Albanians and he tried with all his heart to conserve the unity of the Albanian territories of Yugoslavia with Albania. Once Yugoslavia took control of the territories the family was persecuted and my father was poisoned.”
…On 1st September 1928 Albania became a monarchy under King Zog I. Agnes’s brother Lazar, now 21, had been made a lieutenant and was to become an equerry to the king. When Agnes wrote to him to congratulate him, and also to tell her of her decision to enter religious life
for the missions in India, Lazar was understandably upset and wrote back asking how a lovely young girl like her could give up everything and go so far away, probably never to see him and the rest of the family again? In her reply Agnes wrote one sentence which Lazar remembered word for word for the rest of his life. “You will serve a king of two million people,” she wrote. “I shall serve the king of the whole world.”

( – Medjugorje Exposed by Pope Benedict XVI

It was reported in The London Daily Mail on September 3, 2008, that Pope Benedict XVI has “begun a crackdown on the world’s largest illicit Catholic shrine — by suspending the priest at the centre of claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared more than 40,000 times”.The article further states that “Benedict XVI has authorised ‘severe cautionary and disciplinary measures’ against Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former ‘spiritual director’ to six children who said Our Lady was appearing to them at Medjugorje in Bosnia.“The Franciscan priest has been suspended after he refused to cooperate (with investigations) into claims of scandalous… (since it is a priest I would rather not print certain parts).   (Content in parenthesis added.)“He has also been accused of ‘the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences,… and disobedience towards legitimately issued orders’, and is suspected of heresy and schism.”Here are some other excerpts from the article:

“Medjugorje has grown to become the most visited unauthorised Catholic shrine in the world… The local bishops are convinced the claims (regarding the apparitions) are bogus and in 2006 complained directly to Pope Benedict…   (Content in parenthesis added.)

“This led to a Vatican investigation which turned the spotlight on the role of Father Vlasic…

“The decree confirming his suspension was signed with the Pope’s approval by Cardinal William Levada, head of CDF, and Father Jose Carballo, the Minister General of the Franciscan Minor Order…”

The article in the London Daily Mail also relayed restrictions placed on Father Vlasic in the decree issued by the Vatican, the violation of which would result in the excommunication of Father Vlasic.Here are more excerpts of the article in the London Daily Mail:

“Father Vlasic is the second spiritual adviser to the seers to be suspended from his ministry. The other, Father Jozo Zovko, was suspended by Bishop Peric in 2004….

“Earlier this year, Italian Bishop Andrea Gemma denounced the Medjugorje claims as the ‘work of the demon’ and predicted that ‘soon the Vatican will intervene with something explosive to unmask once and for all who is behind this deceit’….

“Three Church commissions failed to find evidence to support their claims (the six child seers) and the bishops of the former Yugoslavia finally declared that ‘it cannot be affirmed that these matters concern supernatural apparitions or revelations’…    (Content in parenthesis added.)

“In 1985 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict — banned pilgrimages to the site, but this has been widely ignored….”

The Vatican’s declaration may be disappointing for some. Catholics must remember that the Church has generally discouraged pilgrimages to places where it was reported that apparitions were occurring, until such time as the apparitions were thoroughly investigated and determined to be worthy of belief.
This is to protect the faithful, at least in part, from being exposed to heresy and error, and being led astray. We must pray for the two suspended priests and for those Catholics who may be tempted to ignore the ruling of the Pope and Vatican officials on Medjugorje.





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