Cardinal impressed by Medjugorje fruits
Medjugorje’s spiritual fruits are overwhelming good, says Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna. He calls the Church’s stand on Medjugorje “very clear”: the question of authenticity is left open, and so clergy cannot arrange official pilgrimages. But all are free to visit on their own.
“Overwhelming good spiritual fruits”. To Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, this is the most important about Medjugorje, he tells Our Sunday Visitor.
Cardinal Schönborn, a member of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the main editor of the current Catechism of the Catholic Church, says the Church’s teaching on Medjugorje is clear, and has been so continuously for 21 years now:
“I think that the Church’s teaching on Medjugorje is very clear. The bishops of the countries of the former Yugoslavia took a clear position in 1991. This is still valid and has been confirmed by the Vatican twice” Cardinal Schönborn says.
“There are three important points in this statement. First, that it is not confirmed that the events are of supernatural origin. That means it is neither confirmed nor denied. The Church left it open.”
“The second point is that, as the so-called apparition question and message question has not been decided, it is not permissible to make official pilgrimages to Medjugorje. So, for example, I cannot organize a formal diocesan pilgrimage to Medjugorje as we can to Rome or Fatima or Lourdes.”
“The third point, however, is that the people who choose to go to Medjugorje on their own are entitled to spiritual care. So, we priests or bishops are invited to provide spiritual company to pilgrims. That’s what my predecessors in Vienna did from the very beginning regarding Medjugorje, and that’s what I continue to do” Cardinal Schönborn tells Our Sunday Visitor.
“I think these three points are sufficient for a good understanding of how to approach Medjugorje. The most important for me are the overwhelming good spiritual fruits of Medjugorje.”
As a member of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Cardinal Schönborn will be among the formal receivers when the results from Cardinal Camillo Ruini’s current investigation into Medjugorje are being presented.
CDF, the Church’s teaching organ and a key Vatican office headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became the Pope, will formally hand over the report from Cardinal Ruini’s commission to Pope Benedict XVI, with or without remarks of their own.
This Autumn, Cardinal Schönborn will open his Cathedral in Vienna for a public apparition to a Medjugorje visionary for the third consecutive year when Ivan Dragicevic returns to the Austrian capital.
The Cardinal celebrated New Year 2010 in Medjugorje, climbed Apparition Hill with visionary Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, and also met with Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez and Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo.