One thing that all the true defenders of the Catholic faith have in common is that they will be maligned and persecuted. How can it be otherwise?
MATTHEW 10: 24 “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; 25 it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Be-el′zebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
The false apparitions in Medjugorje were used by the dissident Franciscans as a weapon against the validly appointed Bishop of the Diocese- The Most Reverened Pavao Zanic.
Sadly, some of the people who are the most factually ignorant of the Medjugorje situation are the most vocal. Pretext is a very vital aspect of what must be looked at in these sitiuations.
The Hercegovinia Affair
For centuries, the parishes in the province of Hercegovinia were run by the Franciscans when the territory was under the control of the Ottoman empire. When this territory became part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Pope Leo XIII took steps to divide the region in dioceses run by appointed Bishops. Despite the Vatican order, the Franciscans pushed back and resisted. As late as some 60 years after the decree, the Fransiscans still controlled almost 80% of the dioceses of Vrhbosna and Mostar
In 1975, the Vatican, frustrated with the lack of progress, issued a formal decree that instructed the Franciscans which parishes they were allowed to retain and which they were not. The Vatican appointed Bishop Zanic to implement the directive which he began to do in 1976.
Early in 1981, Bishop Zanic requested that two Franciscans, Ivica Vego and Ivan Prusina, be transferred from the parish in Mostar, and the same parish be given at the disposal of the secular clergy, as ordered by the papal decree.
The two Priests refused to leave in open defiance of the Bishop. Later that year, when 6 children claimed to see the Virgin Mary, the 2 dissident priests convinced the kids to go to the Bishop and tell him that the "gospa" said they did not have to leave and that he- the Bishop- was the one acting rashly.
The Bishop asked if the Lady had a message for the priests. The Visionaries said that she did not.
Then, urged on by Father Tomislav Vlasic- their spiritual advisor- the children claimed they had lied earlier and the Gospa had indeed sent a message for the 2 priests. The message was that they were guilty of nothing and that it was the Bishop (who was implementing Vatican orders) was the one in the wrong.
That's when the Bishop first knew the apparitions were a hoax.
The Bishop stripped the two priests of their faculties and they responded by leading a mob to kid nap him and hold him against his will. He was freed by Yugoslav law enforcement.
The so-called gospa then said the Bishop was guilty and the priests were to defy him and keep hearing confessions and celebrating Masses.
Vega, Prusinni and Vlasic have all 3 been lairized and excommunicated. These penalties were enforced by then Cardinal Ratzinger. The Medjugorje events were ruled false by no less than 4 formal investigations.
For suppressing a revolt, exposing a hoax, implementing Papal orders and defending the truth, Bishop Zanic was slandered and vilified right up to the day of his death, 11 days into the new millennium.
The man is a Saint in my book. Bishop Zanic, pray for us.