At the request of Bishop Peric of Mostar-Duvno, the Chancellor of the diocese, Don Ante Luburic, gave the following update following an article by Rene Laurentin:
We read in Chretiens Magazine No.103, of 15th September 1997, pp34-35, the article entitled "Storm over Medjugorje" by Rene Laurentin.
Father Laurentin recounts some disinformations and certain things which are not true, in this way causing a real 'storm' over Medjugorje.
1. It is not true that the Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura had issued a judgement of "six cardinals, among whom the Dean of the Sacred College, which rehabilitated the two victims" (Franciscans). The Dean of the Sacred College did not sign the document and no six cardinals signed it. One sees by this that Rene Laurentin did not have the text of the Signatura to hand, or else that he saw it but only read it superficially.
2. The two Franciscans are not rehabilitated as regards the abuses they commited, but one simply notes the error by omission of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life. Also the interdict passed by Bishop Zanic on Brother Ivan Prusin retains all its validity, and he has no jurisdiction whatever nor canonical mission in the diocese of Mostar-Duvno. We published it in our official bulletin (Vrhbosna, 2/1996, p142). The other Franciscan, Brother Ivica Vego, left the Order and the priesthood in 1988.
3. It is somewhat strange that the Reverend Father Laurentin should write that the Holy Father asked Cardinal Kuharic, the Vice-President of the Republic of Croatia, and even President Tudjman, to go to Medjugorje, when not one of the organisers (the Nuncio Bishop Monterisi, Father R Tucci, SJ,) even raised the subject with the 'responsible local' of Mostar, notably at the time of the preparation of the Holy Father's journey to Sarajevo.
4. It is an invention of Reverend Father Laurentin that the Holy Father, during his journey to Sarajevo, "authorised a part of his retinue to leave him during the journey in order to go publicly on pilgrimage to Medjugorje: eleven persons, bishops and ambassadors, along with Vatican correspondents". (311) In reality, the Ambassador of Croatia to the Holy See, Mr Ive Livljanic, organised in his own capacity the journey of a group of ambassadors, bringing them from Rome to Medjugorje: these persons had nothing to do with authorisation by, nor with the retinue of, the Holy Father. Apart from this disinformation, one sees all sorts of things attributed to the Holy Father and to his "entourage", things which have no foundation in realityl
5. Finally, one must say that no pilgrimage, no cult, no shrine at Medjugorje has been recognised, neither at the diocesan level, nor by the Episcopal Conference, nor by the Holy See. These affirmations might be the inventions or the pious desires of Rene Laurentin but in no way the affirmations of the responsible Church leaders: if they have not recognised the "supernatural apparitions", how could they officially recognise the cult and pilgrimages?
Mostar, 24th October 1997
Don Ante Luburic, Chancellor of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno.
(311. In D.N, No16, 2nd edition, October 1997, Rene Laurentin speaks no longer of eleven persons but of some thirty persons! "While the Pope stayed in Sarajevo, this delegation of some thirty persons was able to make the pilgrimage to the shrine of the Virgin which the Pope had had to forego." (p.50)