CONSERVATIVES FALL ON BOTH SIDES OF APPARITIONS AS ALSO ON BOTH SIDES OF SYNOD DEBATE
Just as there are conservatives on both sides of the discussion about the recent Synod (and Pope Francis), so are there conservatives, and liberals, on both sides of various debates over apparitions of Our Blessed Mother.
Archconservative Cardinal Gerhard Müller, for example, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ardently and even vociferously opposes appearances by seers from the under-Vatican-consideration site of Medjugorje. He sought to scotch one visionary's recent appearance at an event in Italy, and earlier halted another from appearances in the U.S.
While Cardinal Müller seems not so warm to apparitions, and also has fallen on the side of arch-conservative Cardinal Raymond Burke in objecting to certain language at the Synod, Cardinal Burke has shown strong support of the apparition known as Our Lady of America (which like Medjugorje has not yet won full pastoral approval).
Meanwhile, another powerful cardinal, Christoph Schöborn, the highest ranking prelate in Austria, and an advisor to the current and previous Popes, not only believes the seers from Medjugorje should appear publicly -- and in churches -- but has hosted that same visionary nixed in America at his own cathedral in downtown Vienna (and is hosting him again at the cathedral Saturday, 11/12/14, as he also has hosted a third visionary from Medjugorje). [Photographed: Müller is to the left; Schöborn, right.]
In Italy, the prohibition of an appearance by seer Vicka Ivankovic-Mijatovic was at the behest of a local bishop named Lorenzo Loppa of the Alagni-Alatri diocese.
However, wait: a speaker on behalf of Medjugorje is being allowed to appear in a nearby diocese, apparently at the approval of the bishop of Concordia-Pordenone, Giuseppe Pellegrini.
Bishop Pellegrini and Cardinal Schöborn have both actually visited the apparition site.
So also has Monsignor Domenico Sigalina, bishop of Palestrina, who reportedly permitted the prayer gathering and witnessing of Vicka in his diocese last Sunday and supported the event by celebrating Mass, despite receiving a letter from Cardinal Müller reminding him of a declaration back in the 1990s stating that the apparitions thus far have not been proven to be supernatural (though not restricting pilgrimages).
"Prayer meeting attended by visionary Vicka on November 9 has been moved into the diocesan church of the local Bishop, author Paolo Brosio reports," reported Medjugorje Today. "Yet the Diocese of Palestrina makes no mention, and meeting organizer has not announced a change of venue. Controversy around the prayer meeting on November 8 in Fiuggi, Italy, took a new turn on Friday when author/journalist Paolo Brosio announced that the subsequent meeting on November 9 in nearby Palestrina will take place in the diocesan church of local Bishop Domenico Sigalini. Both meetings were first scheduled to feature a talk and a public apparition to Medjugorje..."
We get the point.
You think the Synod was "confusing"?
The question one day will be: who or what is causing the confusion?
And how about this:
"After more than thirty-three years of apparitions in Medjugorje, the Virgin Mary issued her first ever call to pray for the Church in her November 9 message given to to visionary Vicka in Palestrina, Italy. Italian author Antonio Socci raises alarm and asks if anyone is listening. Previously unseen for thirty-three years and four and a half months of apparitions in Medjugorje, the Virgin Mary called people to pray for the Church in her message to the visionary on Sunday in Fiuggi, Italy. Mary even said the Church is 'much in need of your prayers.'"
Not sure it was actually the sole such call. But whatever: was that referring to the Synod, or the turmoil over Medjugorje (or both)?
Then there is the Synod...
It's not quite" cardinal against cardinal, bishop against bishop" (in the way of an prophecy from Akita, Japan, one with Church approbation), but it seems to be edging there, at least in the media, which would like nothing better than a schism. It has been intriguing, and some of it is actual news, seeing that former Pope Benedict XVI made a pointed statement on the importance of traditional family before the recent Synod, while several cardinals and bishops took stands for or against certain statements from the Synod, some that seemed aimed, in a way we have not seen in many years, at the Pope himself.
It was intriguing to see the way it went down, how there are conservatives for the way the Holy Father is handling matters (such as Cardinal George Pell of Australia, now a high-ranking Vatican official) and conservatives against. Moderates and liberals have tended to side with the Holy Father's approach (although liberals in general are antagonistic to apparitions) -- if we can even tell, at this point, what position the Pope takes, for he had not even uttered any public opinion as yet on either the essential aspects of the Synod nor on Medjugorje (but rather seemed to treat the Synod as a way of airing out various views).
As (conservative) columnist George Will has said, the "default reaction" of everyone these days is "outrage." As conservatives, we lament that.
Perhaps we all need to wait and see what the Pope actually says. Will it come down to simply annulment reform? Or is a "revolution" (as one liberal put it) in the offing? Time will tell what is going on, and fairly soon. Stay tuned. It is good to be circumspect, and not to treat this like a political matter. In fact, it has sometimes resonated of talk radio -- both issues -- more than discernment.
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[Footnote; from Akita message:
" "The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a
way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, bishops against other
bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their
confreres ... churches and altars sacked; the Church will be full of those
who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and
consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord...."
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