THIS CAN BE A TOUCHY SUBJECT. PLEASE BE CHARITABLE IN YOUR RESPONSES TO EACH OTHER OR I WILL REQUEST THE THREAD BE CLOSED! THANK YOU FOR COOPERATING.
In November 1980 to February of 1983 I was in a convent in Hercegovina right near the site of Medjugorje. In fact, the sisters from my order served the parish of St. James.
I had been skeptical in the early going, then was leaning towards authenticity when I was cranking out 14,000 hosts personally for a three day period. And, watching confession lines with dozens of priests, kids fasting and passing up discos while singing Marian songs as they walked to the church for mass each night, etc.
I recall my fellow Franciscan sisters and priests talking about a rift between the diocesan authorities and the Franciscan order, but did not understand it until I began looking into it now, 20 years later.
After much research, I am much disturbed after seeing my own contempt for the local authority, Bishop Zanic and his successor Bishop Peric, and concluded it was a bad seed - the contempt that is.
After reading more information and balancing it out with all of the good, I have come to a conclusion for myself that it is either a hoax or diabolical. This is not to say that good people aren’t finding God through their prayers there, but I cannot for the life of me understand how Our Lady would ever sanction disobedience disrespect, contempt, malice, defamation - in the name of “Queen of Peace”, all aimed at the Local Ordinary, who stuck well within the bounds of church doctrine. It would be one thing if the Bishops had told the kids to go commit murder. I mean, outright lying and pitting the Blessed Mother against the local bishop is unfathomable, and there is plenty of documentation that the “seers” did just this.
That right there got me. Next thing I knew, I found myself in confession emptying my closet for sinning against a Bishop whose diocese I resided in over 20 years ago. I compounded this as I continued to badmouth the guy anytime the subject of Medjugorje came up.
When the light bulb finally went on, I realized I had not only sinned against the Bishop, but had sinned against the Holy Spirit for not trusting Him to guide the Local Ordinary as is one of our core beliefs in such matters. Even Padre Pio stopped saying mass publicly when ordered to do so by his local authority. Ditto with St. Faustina whom Jesus told to always follow Mother Superior even before Him, and she was put to the test.
Trust in the Holy Spirit without obedience and trust in the Local Ordinary is a serious conflict. Several of the Franciscan Priests I had come to know and love have gotten themselves in serious trouble, with some being defrocked. When one of our sisters suddenly disappeard overnight (after hearing she was prego), it was only recently I learned she was impregnated by one of those Franciscans. There are several other examples of infidelity. These are not good fruits. St. Francis must be beside himself at the thought of any Franciscan or Franciscan in formation (such as myself) who would not humble themselves before their Bishop, much less speak out against him on a matter in which he has jurisdiction.
After my confession, I contacted Bishop Peric by email with my apology - an email about as long as this post, and received a reply three days later - a very merciful and understanding acceptance. He said that Bishop Zanic had died in 2000, but would have rejoiced at my email.
Buried beneath the good fruits, are many rotten fruits and those running around badmouthing a Bishop need to seriously evaluate their position.
I shutter to think how many people were affected by my words against the local bishop. What good were my prayers, fasting, rosaries, confessions all the while holding contempt and outright malice for the Local Ordinary? If others are doing this, think long and hard. I hope more engaged in this will repent as I have because the Lord, nor the Blessed Mother would ever advocate, sanction, or promote such behavior.
Mea Maxima Culpa!