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(caution: website is anti-Medjugorje)

Bosnian Cardinal Worried At Divisions Caused By Medjugorje

VATICAN, Oct 10, 01 ( - Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, speaking at the Synod of Bishops, has complained that the reported apparitions of Medjugorje are becoming a source of division in the Church.

Cardinal Puljic spoke on the general theme of how bishops should be involved in "overcoming the divisions existing in the Church and in today's world." He argued: "Europe can no longer be divided into Eastern and Western Europe. The world cannot remain divided between North and South."

Then, turning his attention to his own land of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the cardinal said that the unity of the Church is threatened by the disobedience of the Franciscan monks serving at Medjurgorje, who "impose their own points of view" with the aid of "pseudo-charisms." Although the local bishop has never officially rendered a verdict on the authenticity of the reported Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, the hierarchy has generally shown signs of skepticism, and cautioned against excessive enthusiasm. This stance has frequently produced conflicts with the Franciscan pastors who have energetically promoted visits and devotion to the Medjugorje site.

In another important intervention at the Synod, Archbishop George Pell of Sydney, Australia, said that bishops should bring comfort and spiritual focus to a depressed and secularized world by emphasizing "Christian hope, especially as it touches the last things: death and judgment, heaven and hell."

The Synod of Bishops has now heard 200 individual presentations by participating bishops, auditors, and experts. The Synod is moving into its second stage, in which the bishops gather in small discussion groups, according to their native language, for a fuller exploration of the main themes.


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