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Cardinal Schönborn again hosts Medjugorje 'seers' in Vienna cathedral

November 17, 2011

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn celebrated Mass at Vienna’s cathedral of St. Stephen on November 17, as part of a televised event that included testimony from a Medjugorje “seer,” who promised an apparition of the Virgin Mary immediately before the Mass.

Ivan Dragicevic, one of the “seers” who claim to have been receiving regular apparitions of the Virgin May for decades, spoke in the cathedral, in an event that was offered on live streaming video broadcast. The schedule called for an apparition at 6:40 pm, Vienna time. Dragicevic said that the Mother of God would bless all those present—and that this blessing would extend to those watching the internet broadcast.

The event in the Vienna cathedral caused consternation among Catholics who have questioned the validity of the alleged apparitions at Medjugorje. Bishops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where Medjugorje is located, have strongly discouraged interest in the “Medjugorje phenomenon.” Still the alleged seers have continued to make public appearances in Catholic churches around the world, with the apparent approval of other bishops.

Cardinal Schönborn has a history of showing support for the Medjugorje “seers.” Early in 2010, he was forced to apologize to Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar (the local diocese) for creating difficulties with his public expressions of support during a “private” visit to Medjugorje in December 2009. Later in the year, however, he welcomed the “seers” to Vienna and praised their efforts.

Last year the Vatican created a special commission to study the Medjugorje phenomenon, in response to pleas for a definitive statement from the Holy See on the alleged apparitions. The commission--chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the retired vicar of the Rome diocese—has held meetings and interviews but has not issued any public statement.


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Nov. 18, 2011 11:31 AM ET USA

    The "Immaculate Conception" was the "Immaculate Conception" before the Church pronounced it. St Anthony and other holy men and women embraced it before it was proclaimed dogma. What we are seeing here is a gross display of "Catholic vigiliantism." All that is left is for the lynch mob to assemble...; which of course it did in the days of St Paul and of the early Church.

  • Posted by: normnuke - Nov. 17, 2011 11:54 PM ET USA

    I am a Catholic who has deep doubts about the whole Medjugorje business (it is most certainly a business. It is also an open, pulsating scandal that makes the Church a laughingstock. I agree heartily with JP and with his remark that Cdl. Schoenborn should be made to hold silence on this, as well as get his house in order.

  • Posted by: polish.pinecone4371 - Nov. 17, 2011 8:04 PM ET USA

    Disciplined severely for allowing someone to speak at the Cathedral on an alleged private revelation? Since there has been no ruling on Medjugorje's authenticity or lack thereof, the Cardinal is in the clear. As for the other issues in his diocese, if things continue as they are and he loses his grip on his clergy, that will be punishment enough.

  • Posted by: JP810 - Nov. 17, 2011 4:47 PM ET USA

    Cardinal Schonborn should be disciplined severely for allowing this to happen! Why are we surprised? He can't get his own house in order! Holy Father, you'll have to stop this nonsense! We are counting on you!