Bishop Tells Visionaries to Stop Marian Apparition Claims

HNP Communications Franciscan World

The local bishop has urged the six alleged Marian visionaries in Medjugorje to stop claiming that Mary has been visiting them for 25 years.

Catholic Online reports that Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, Bosnia-Herzegovina, said the church “has not accepted, either as supernatural or as Marian, any of the apparitions” said to have been witnessed by a group of people from Medjugorje.

The bishop made his comments June 15 during a homily at a confirmation Mass in Medjugorje’s St. James Church.

Since June 24-25, 1981, the alleged visionaries claim to have received more than 30,000 messages. But Bishop Peric said in his homily that “so-called apparitions, messages, secrets and signs do not strengthen the faith, but rather further convince us that in all of this there is nothing either authentic or established as truthful.”

Catholic Online said he also warned his audience of a schism emerging in the region between the church and more than a dozen Franciscan brothers and priests who have been expelled by the General Curia of the Order of Friars Minor in Rome because of their disobedience to the pope.

Bishop Peric said he shared the view of his predecessor, Bishop Pavao Zanic, that the visions and the Franciscan “schism,” which began under Pope Paul VI in the 1970s, are linked.

Throughout the 1980s, Franciscan Father Jozo Zovko acted as “spiritual adviser” to the visionaries.