Most Rev. Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar
25 March 1985 (reference no. 281)
Letter to Rev. Tomislav Pervan, OFM, parish priest at St. James parish in Medjugorje
The Hidden Side of Medjugorje by Rev. Ivo Sivric, OFM, STD, 1989
The letter bears the title The Newest Developments in the Events in Medjugorje. It lists the previous instructions of the bishop contravened by the priests of the parish.Thanks to EWTN for making the e-text of this document available on the web.
Reverend Father Tomislav,
Most certainly the Pastoral personnel of the Medjugorje parish know about the newest developments and the circumstances of the letter of the “visionary” Ivan Dragicevic on the sign that he described on May 9, 1982 during his stay in the seminary in Visoko. With a copy of that letter we are also supplying you with a copy of the Minutes of the last meeting of the Commission on the Events of Medjugorje held in Mostar on March 7, 1985, on the occasion of the opening of Ivan Dragicevic’s letter. This letter contains the described sign which would occur in order to confirm the “apparitions” of the Madonna in Medjugorje. Last year, in a conversation with [members of] the investigating Commission, Ivan Dragicevic declared that the sign we speak of will be the Madonna’s shrine and that that sign will appear suddenly one morning.
Even before this, the Ordinary had come to the firm conclusion that the apparitions of the Madonna in Medjugorje are not a reality. Meanwhile, in 1982, the Bishop’s Office had formed the Commission to investigate the events and to study the case thoroughly. Because of it, the Bishop’s Office has refrained from making any official statement on the real state of affairs. However, several times through letters, the Bishop’s Office expressed its desire, and even demanded, that the propaganda stop because of the disobedience of the pastoral personnel and the “visionaries.” This was a futile attempt. I present the documents which have been sent to you, and the subject of each one of them:
– December 13, 1981, (N 977): attitude toward the events in Medjugorje;
– April 12, 1983, (N 241): letter to the parish priest, instructions to be followed;
Invitations for meetings:
– March 31, 1983, (N 297);
– September 27, 1983, (N 982);
– July 19, 1984, (N 777);
Following a two-day session, the Commission on the events of Medjugorje declared that the pastoral personnel and the seers in Medjugorje are requested to abstain from any public statement or declaration to the press about the contents of the visions and the alleged miraculous cures.
At our meeting, held in the Chancery Office in Mostar on October 31, 1984, I demanded that Medjugorje’s occurrences “be toned down and eliminated little by little.”
In the meantime, matters remain as they were, and a great disgrace is expected to befall the Church. Now, without any delay, after all this, I demand from you that you remove the “visionaries” from public display and put an end to their “visions” in the parish church. They have had “visions” in Mostar, and earlier in Sarajevo, Visoko and Dubrovnik. Let them now have them at their homes: people say that they had them at their homes during 1981. In ten days the new statue of the Gospa in front of the main altar ought to be discreetly removed late one evening and replaced by the old one. You must stop talking about apparitions and also cease publicizing messages. The devotions that grew out of the “apparitions” and their messages must be eliminated, sales of souvenirs and printed material which propagate the “apparitions” must also stop. The faithful can go to the sacrament of reconciliation and attend Mass. I do not allow the other priests, especially Fathers Jozo Zovko, Tomislav Vlasic and Ljudevit Rupcic, to celebrate Mass for the faithful or to preach.
The “visionaries” must give you whatever they wrote, especially what pertains to the so called “Biography of the Madonna.” No excuse that that’s a secret can justify them from not handing over that material to you. Since there was so much public talk about their Diaries and their other writings, and since all this had a great influence on the events of Medjugorje, thus all these documents and [written]) materials fall under the supervision of the Ordinary and become subject to the investigation of the phenomenon of Medjugorje.
We do hope that you will execute what we demand from you in this letter.
With greetings and a prayerful wish for God’s blessing.
Msgr. Pavao Zanic
Bishop of Mostar-Duvno and Apostolic Administrator of Trebinje-Mrkan