Page 4, 1st March 1985

1st March 1985
Page 4
Page 4, 1st March 1985 — The dove that is within us

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Organisations: Medjugorje commission
Locations: Zagreb


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The dove that is within us

I AM accused by Bishop Lindsay of inaccuracy February 8 in what I said about the Yugoslav hierarchy's attitude to Medjugorje pilgrimages. So let me quote what the head of that hierarchy (Cardinal Zuharic of Zagreb) has written on the subject; my source is his formal letter (January 31) in reply to mine. He reaffirms that official pilgrimages have been forbidden by the Bishops' Conference. But, he adds, "private pilgrimages by individuals and groups are not forbidden." No sanctions whatsoever, he adds, attach to these pilgrimages that "give expression to personal piety in accordance with the judgments of conscience and self-responsibility."

The Archbishop of Split replied to my letter in exactly the same vein (February 5).

Now the Bishop of Mostar, as is well known, has made a request (not a command) for people not to organize pilgrimages to Medjugorje until his commission of inquiry has done its work. But, like his episcopal colleagues, he surely respects in the meantime the right of every "simple Catholic" (to borrow a phrase from Bishop Lindsay) to be guided by the light of conscience and the promptings of piety as to whether they should go on private pilgrimage to Medjugorje.

• MANY THANKS to Fr Michael 0 Carroll CSSp on his excellent article on Medjugorje (Feb. 15). It is true that the apparitions there are now a worldwide phenomenon. I feel that Christians everywhere should ask themselves, Why does the Mother of Jesus Christ come and speak to these five every day for three and a half years now? In Medjugorje, Our Lady has given us all the perfect recipe for both individual peace and world peace.

However, like Fr Hughes Si, I too find the persistent negative attitude of Bishop Lindsay (in We are left in no doubt by the gospel that the well-instructed Christian should be as wise as a serpent and as simple as a dove. But simplicity alone availeth not. The dove within us needs, especially in any given area of religious freedom such as Medjugorje pilgrimages, the serpent's wise discernment and confidence to assert one's selfresponsibility.

Bishop Lindsay also jibs at Laurentin's statement that ten out of the fourteen priests on the Medjugorje commission were selected on the basis of their bias against the apparitions. So grave an allegation, he says darkly, "needs to be carefully checked before publication."

We can be quite sure that Laurentin, who is respected the world over for his scholarly integrity and calibre, did not fail to do his homework beforehand. And this is all the more applicable in so delicate and explosive an issue. No; I would rather think that the onus lies on Bishop Lindsay to prove Laurentin wrong. If he insists on having the direct evidence behind Laurentin's statement, let him go on a fact-finding trip to Yugoslavia. Otherwise he will remain subject, like the rest of US, I'm afraid, to the indirect evidence of competent reportage.

Richard Foley, Si his six letters to the Herald to date) rather hard to understand.

Before his Lordship makes any more disapproving remarks, I would beg him just to go and see all the wonders there for himself. Like the Archbishop of Split, he could go there "incognito".

Like Pope Pius XII said regarding Fatima, "The time for doubting Our Lady's message is passed. Now it is time for strong faith and action." Medjugorje is a continuation of Fatima.

Mrs Bernadette Doyle 13 Wotton Road Cricklewood London NW2

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