.- Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno in Bosnia and Herzegovina has sent letters to the pastor and a parochial vicar in Medjugorje, emphasizing that the town's parish is not a “shrine” and specifically directing them that they and the parish are not to promote the alleged Marian apparitions.
The separate June 12 letters from Bishop Peric to Friar Petar Vlasic, the parish priest of Medjugorje, and Friar Danko Perutina, its parochial vicar, said that alleged messages of apparitions and commentaries on them are not to be published. Italian translations of the letters were posted by the diocese on its website on September 26.
According to Bishop Peric's letter, the prayers from the apparitions are not to be used publicly. Alleged seers must not be invited and must not present themselves in the parish church to promote their messages.
Foreign priests may not give conferences or retreats in Medjugorje without permission of the bishop, he explained, adding that foreign priests wishing to offer Mass must present a “celebret” document from their diocese or religious order and that such information must be recorded.
He repeated that a privately built church should not be used by the faithful and has been closed by the diocese.
In his letter to Friar Perutina, Bishop Peric noted that the priest had published some commentaries about alleged messages from apparitions. He emphasized that the friar is not authorized to comment upon and publish the alleged messages, either in his own name or under a pseudonym.
Writing to Friar Vlasic, Bishop Peric explained that the parish of Medjugorje cannot be called a shrine publicly or privately because it is not recognized by the relevant ecclesial authority. He instructed that such a description must not appear on the website of Medjugorje, where it was still being used in June 2009.
“As the local Ordinary, in this present letter, I declare that the so-called ‘shrine’ has no mission to declare itself a ‘Shrine’, nor to present (the parish) with that title, because it has no ecclesiastical mission to present itself in the name of Medjugorje, nor to spread or interpret the ‘apparitions’ and ‘messages’ of Medjugorje,” wrote Bishop Peric.
Friar Perutina, the bishop told Friar Vlasic, is presenting messages from the alleged seer Marija, commenting on them, and publishing them.
“This is contrary to the decision and request of this Curia,” Bishop Peric said, emphasizing that, "These are private messages to private people for private use."
The prelate said it is not permitted for intentions received in an alleged Medjugorje apparition or message to be introduced during the Rosary. He explained that there are sufficient official intentions from the Pope, the bishop and the missions, and therefore there is no need to mix such messages with the Church’s public prayers.