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Former Medjugorje pastor laicized, dismissed from Franciscans

Catholic World News - July 27, 2009

A former pastor who helped make the little town of Medjugorje gain international fame for a series of alleged Marian apparitions has been removed from the priesthood and dismissed from the Franciscan order.

Pope Benedict XVI approved the laicization of Tomislav Vlasic a year after a Vatican decree placing the former friar under interdict because of "suspicion of heresy and schism, as well as scandalous acts contra sextum, aggravated by mystical motivations." The controversial priest-- who had already broken with the Medjugorje "seers"-- had defied local bishops and Franciscan superiors in setting up his own religious community.

Father José Rodriguez Carballo, the minister general of the Franciscans, announced that Vlasic had also been dismissed from that order. The terms of Vlasic's laicization, he revealed, bar him from engaging in any public ministry or making pronouncements about any religious subject (including the alleged apparitions) under pain of excommunication.

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