Old Interview with Cardinal Ratzinger

The other day I came across an old interview with Cardinal Ratzinger that was conducted by the Italian journalist Orazio La Rocca in May, 2000. It was published in La Repubblica on May 19.

Not a week prior to the publication of this interview, Cardinal Sodano had announced the impending publication of the third part of the secret of Fátima. La Rocca took the opportunity to speak with Ratzinger about the matter.

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Fátima & Marco Tosatti

Marco Tosatti was kind to help me in the research with my book On the Third Part of the Secret of Fátima. Today I saw this video:

If your spoken Italian needs brushing up, thankfully, YouTube’s closed caption feature is working (albeit not at 100%).

Tosatti advances the 20-25 lines story, among other things. I hope he has had the opportunity to read my book…. I understand that he published a book back in April entitled Fatima e il segreto non svelato.

Charlie Johnston 2017-2

Back in January, I posted an article about my experience with the alleged visionary Charlie Johnston. I posted the article after one of Johnston’s more famous prophecies, known as the “presidential prophecy,” failed to come to pass. I am again taking up the proverbial pen to write on Johnston in the light of some recent developments.

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Archbishop Hoser Speaks on Medjugorje

Hi Everyone! The Pope’s special envoy to Medjugorje, Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warszawa-Praga (Poland), has given an interview on Medjugorje. His remarks are lighting up the Catholic blogosphere and I think it important to make some observations.

The remarks were apparently made in Polish and have seen some excerpts into English but the entirety of the interview is not yet available in English. Thus, let me stress that this is a growing news story. I provide for you here a skeletal outline of some points of interest. It is submitted with the utmost respect for His Excellency and only for the purpose of providing discussion on a topic of interest to many people.

The interview opens with a question on the broad arc of the Archbishop’s mandate of “gaining a profound knowledge of the situation in Medjugorje.”[1] The Archbishop responds with a general statement expressing his personal opinion that it is impossible to have an in-depth knowledge on the events of Medjugorje. He explains that Medjugorje involves the mystery of God and man and in that dynamic are secrets (no pun intended) that cannot be seen.[2]

The Archbishop admits that he did not research the theological content of Medjugorje.[3] He then proceeds to give his personal opinion that there are “basically no doctrinal errors in their content.”[4] The Archbishop does not discuss some difficult matters that can be found in my response to Fr. Lovrić. See also my commentary to Pope Francis’ remarks back in May.

The Archbishop makes a comparison between the later visions to Sr. Lúcia with the continued “apparitions” in Medjugorje.[5] Here, the Archbishop unfortunately does not qualify his discussion. Later visions were afforded to Sr. Lúcia, but they were not a daily occurrence at a specified time and date on the dot. This phenomenon is associated with Medjugorje.

Immediately following this point, the Archbishop then discusses another objection various people have on Medjugorje—that the alleged “seers” did not become priests or religious.[6] This argument is not about this fact alone. To my recollection, it is about how the “Gospa” of Medjugorje spoke with the “seers” about their vocations, telling them that she’d “like to see” them as such. That aspect of the story is not discussed by Archbishop Hoser.

Hoser was, a little further down in the interview, asked about how the criticism that the “Gospa” of Medjugorje is a bit talkative.[7] Hoser responds that St. Faustina of the Divine Mercy devotion, spoke to Jesus every day for several years.[8] His claim is new to me and I cannot help but wonder if he made a factual error. I have no recollection of this aspect of her life. If anyone else has a better understanding, please contact me with more information.

Hoser acknowledges the fact of Pope Francis’ remarks from May later in the interview.[9] He reiterated what the purpose of his mission was in Medjugorje earlier this year and concluded that pastoral activities in Medjugorje are consistent with the teaching and practice of the Church.[10] Here, I do not believe Hoser to be commenting about the doctrinal content of the alleged apparitions themselves. Rather, he is speaking about the various activities taking place in Medjugorje.

At the end of the interview, the Archbishop is asked whether or not his report will contribute to the recognition of Medjugorje.[11] Hoser responds that he does not think his report will have a direct effect because his mission was of another nature, and then proceeds to opine that Medjugorje may be recognized this year.[12] He does, however, qualify his opinion on approval by discussing the first seven “apparitions” distinction.[13]

At the same time, the Archbishop also states that he finds it hard to believe the “seers” would lie for 36 years and that they have been “consistent” in their stories.[14] He further states that the powerful argument in favor of Medjugorje is its faithfulness to the doctrine of the Church.[15] He does not, unfortunately, reconcile this statement with some aspects of Medjugorje’s history.

In the end, a good portion of this interview concerns the private opinions of Archbishop Hoser. One cannot accept it as being expressive of the entirety of the investigations into the authenticity of the alleged apparitions.


Notes:

[1] “Zyskanie dogłębnej wiedzy na temat sytuacji w Medjugorju….”

[2] “Sądzę, że dogłębna wiedza o wydarzeniach w Medjugorju nie jest możliwa, dlatego, że wnikamy w tajemnicę Boga i tajemnicę człowieka. A to są tajemnice, których dna nie widać.”

[3] “Natomiast nie zajmowałem się badaniem treści objawień, bo nie jest to moja rola.”

[4] “…że w zasadzie nie ma błędów doktrynalnych w ich treści.”

[5] “Mogła publikować, i podobnie jak ci z Medjugorja, miała objawienia przez całe życie. Widzący z Medjugorja też mają do dziś objawienia, obliczono, że dotychczas było ich w sumie 40 tysięcy. Moim zdaniem nie jest to jakaś istotna przeszkoda.”

[6] “Niektórzy zarzucają widzącym, że nie zostali księżmi czy zakonnicami, jak np. Łucja Santos. Ale świat zmienił się od tego czasu a zakon nie jest jedyną drogą do realizacji chrześcijańskiego powołania. Ludzie ci żyją w świecie i poszli drogą sakramentu małżeństwa. Bardzo dobrze, gdyż mogą pokazać piękno życia rodzinnego, które w dzisiejszym świecie jest bardzo zagrożone.”

[7] “Padały zarzuty, że objawienia w Medjugorje są zbyt liczne, że Matka Boża jest zbyt gadatliwa?”

[8] “Można przywołać św. Faustynę, która codziennie rozmawiała z Panem Jezusem przez wiele lat. Nie powinna to być istotna przeszkoda.”

[9] “Zresztą Ojciec Święty już w samolocie, wracając z Fatimy, wypowiedział się na temat Medjugorja….”

[10] “Sądzę, że wszystko zmierza w dobrym kierunku. Zresztą moja misja nie miała na celu zamknięcia Medjugorja, ale ocenę, czy prowadzone tam duszpasterstwo jest właściwe, zgodne z doktryną i nauczaniem Kościoła, skuteczne i dobrze zorganizowane. We wnioskach stwierdzam, że tak jest. Od strony duszpasterskiej moja ocena jest bardzo pozytywna. Zatem prowadzone obecnie działania duszpasterskie, porządek liturgiczny oraz konferencje, powinny być kontynuowane.”

[11] “Czy raport Księdza Arcybiskupa może przyczynić się do uznania objawień?”

[12] “Bezpośrednio nie, gdyż dotyczy czegoś innego. Wszystko wskazuje na to, że objawienia będą uznane, być może jeszcze w tym roku.”

[13] “Konkretnie rzecz biorąc, sądzę, że możliwe jest uznanie autentyczności pierwszych objawień, tak jak to zaproponowała komisja kard. Ruiniego.”

[14] “Zresztą trudno o inny wyrok, gdyż trudno wierzyć, aby sześcioro widzących kłamało przez 36 lat.”

[15] “Potężnym argumentem za autentycznością objawień jest wierność doktrynie Kościoła.”