Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
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Letters to the Editor
(From the Feb. 4, 2010 edition of the Inland Register)
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This letter is in response to the very insensitive and hurtful response by Father I.J. Mikulski and the editor of “The Question Box” to a question posed by reader as how they felt about a priest who was possibly badgered into making a pilgrimage to Medjugorje 30 times (IR 1/14/10).
Father Mikulski’s response was “the priest likes to travel, and it’s a big world out there.” He (the priest) should also “get acquainted with the 1991 official report of 19 out 20 bishops of that region which concluded that one could not affirm that we are dealing with supernatural apparitions or revelations.” Father Mikulski and the editor of that column know very well that the Church cannot and will not affirm the validity of any apparition while it is still continuing.
They could not even begin to wonder how a priest could get duped into not only one but 29 more pilgrimages. A teaching nun at Franciscan University in Ohio has made as many as 70 pilgrimages with students to Medjugorje. Try to imagine that number of trips to such a desolate location without some very special calling. Medjugorje, with its very sparse accommodations has never been identified as a destination resort that you would spend 7-10 days. Do the Father Milulskis have an obligation to a truthful disclosure about the Church’s position on these matters or remain silent until that occurs?
In the Korean Catholic weekly Catholic News, an account of a meeting with John Paul II and six bishops from Korea regarding the apparitions of Fatima and Medjugorje the pope stated both are private revelations and differed fundamentally from public revelation. He also used the example of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje, and commented on “how wonderful it is that despite some bishop’s opposition, many people visit there and are converted and favored ... with God’s grace. He then smiled.” Numerous bishops and cardinals have visited Medjugorje with the blessing and admonition of John Paul II. Let us not forget that it took five years after the Lourdes apparition by Bernadette that the Church accepted the validity of that apparition.
Just recently Cardinal Schonborn, archbishop of Vienna, made a highly publicized and very favorable visit to Medjugorje which enflamed the Bishop Peric of Mostar that Father Mikulski uses as a credible authority to preserve Catholic doctrine. That is why the future declaration on the validity of the apparitions has been placed in the hands of a higher authority than the bishops of that region for political and impartiality reasons.
Finally, from one who has made that pilgrimage to Medjugorje, I wonder what force is working to discredit such a place filled with prayer, reconciliation, and devotion.
Victor Carnell, Spokane
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