Written by:  Don Luka PAVLOVIC, general vicar, Mostar

          The Secretariat of the "Queen of Peace" Committee, a self-established and self-named entity, recently presented itself to the public with a letter published in the Slobodna Dalmacija (21 July 1997).  The self-named Secretariat of the Committee of the Medjugorje spiritual movement, began operating on the 16th anniversary of the "apparitions" in Medjugorje, on the territory of the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno, without the prior notification or the permission of the local Bishop.  Moreover, the local Bishop and the Diocese were not even mentioned in the letter.  The letter was written on the anniversary of the "apparitions" June 24th, but it was published a month later to the "prayer groups" inspired by the "messages" of Medjugorje to the world.

     It is well known that from June '81 till June '97, according to the private sayings of six "seers" and their charismatic leaders in Medjugorje, each year throughout all these 16 years, there have occurred 365 so-called "apparitions".  Some of the "seers" have had more than one daily apparition, while for others the "apparitions" have temporarily ceased.  Calculating all this would result to around 5,840 "apparitions", clearly a unique phenomenon in the world!  And that the "miracle" would be even more "miraculous", the "apparitions" do not only occur in Medjugorje, but they have been known to happen at any place on earth, wherever any of the six "seers" along with their spiritual "leaders" happen to be spreading their spiritual propaganda.  This goes on according to public demand and depending on their readiness to experience an "apparition".

     All the messages can be summed up into five.  Yet these "five messages" are actually the following ten which are difficult to gather from every 25th of the month and from various authors:  peace, conversion, prayer, fasting, vigilance, penance, adoration, witnessing, holiness and faith.  The Committee has authorized the following five:  Eucharist, Word of God, monthly confession, rosary and fasting.  It has dropped:  peace, faith, holiness, vigilance, witnessing, while Christian prayer has been reduced to the rosary and conversion to monthly confession.  Christians can regularly hear all these messages every Sunday in church.

     It seems to us that the strange novelty of Medjugorje lies in the fact that the "Queen of Peace", every 25th of the month, makes a special communiqué with the message:  "Thank you, children, for having responded to my invitation".  Here the Mother of God is thanking children who have found the time to visit Her, who have been gracious enough to meet and speak with Her, who pray whenever and however they like to God.  Our Lady remains amazed and thankful to "seers" who respond to Her invitation!  This is similar to parents thanking their children for being born; to teachers thanking their students for wanting an education; to physicians thanking the sick for searching for health!  In this fashion, the "Queen of Peace" seems to be thanking the "seers" for so many years now, that they have responded to Her invitation and for spreading the "messages", just so that pilgrims wouldn't stop coming to Medjugorje!  There is no indication nor prophecy yet on when these "apparitions" will be swept away, since even the "seers" and their "leaders" themselves cannot foresee what would happen with the "tens of millions of pilgrims" who have for years been coming unconverted to Medjugorje and left Medjugorje converted.

     The letter was signed by seven Church people, members of the "Secretariat of the 'Queen of Peace' Committee.  Some of them are well known for their "charismatic" characteristics, while all of them lack regard for the legal Church authorities who have the duty to adjudicate such matters.  The Secretariat was formed of its own accord for its private aims.  The letter was written by seven secretaries of the Committee, who are offering their spirit of unity, based on the so-called "apparitions", while excluding the Diocesan Bishop, and directly uniting themselves to the Pope.  To this aim, they do not shy away from wrongfully using the name and authority of the Holy Father.  Hence, they and their letter have received no attention in the public mass media nor that of the church.  We only refer to it out of a sense of responsibility towards the Diocese in which all this is occurring and especially out of filial devotion to the truth regarding the B. Virgin Mary.
(Mostar, August 6, 1997)                                                  Published in:  Slobodna Dalmacija, Sept. 12, 1997, p. 12.