ARCHBISHOP ANDRE-JOSEPH LEONARD AND CARDINAL SCHONBORN TO CO-HOST MARIJA AND FR MARINKO IN AUSTRIA
Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard will be co-hosting with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn the visionary Marija Pavlovic and Fr Marinko Sakota parish priest of St James, Medjugorje, in St Stephen Cathedral Vienna, Austria, on the 29th of September 2015 ahead of a pending Vatican meeting and announcement on the Medjugorje Phenomenon.
The move by the two famous primates throws aside rumours that Fr Marinko was given restrictions for the visionaries by the Vatican and stands as a powerful witness of support for Medjugorje before the Ruini Commission and Pope Francis.
The event is organised by Friedensgebet will be streamed live in English, Russian and Slovakian by MaryTV.
The Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith requires that events with Medjugorje visionaries cannot be permitted if they ‘presume the authenticity’ of the apparitions. This event is titled ‘Prayer for Peace, Message for you’ and on the program there are no mention of apparitions.
A feria quarter will be held soon in the Vatican where cardinals and bishops can discuss the suggestions for action on the Medjugorje Phenomenon. The findings of the Ruini Commission aren’t fully known. Sources from the Vatican informed us however there are restrictions being recommended to Pope Francis and that there have been prelates (outside of the commission) who are pushing for restrictions.
Cardinal Schonborn has invited Archbishop Leonard of Belgium to join him as they host the visionary Marija and the Parish priest Fr Marinko precisely around the time of the feria quarta (that Cardinal Schonborn and possibly Mgr Leonard will be attending) making it clear that discussions about possible restrictions on the visionaries may not be so straightforward.
A canon lawyer informs us ‘This is a slick move they’ve made – whether they meant to or not it’s essentially put the Vatican in stalemate. They are both hierarchical giants coming together from two different -dare I say opposing- wings in the Church joining forces in support of Medjugorje. If the Vatican intends on restricting the visionaries this makes it very complicated for them now with such hierarchal support. They effectively are standing as two pillars protecting Medjugorje. Canonically speaking a cardinal is able to override and invite whom he likes in his diocese, he effectively is a pope of his own ecclesial territory and with the added support of Mgr Leonard they are showing those who want the Medjugorje visionaries to be silenced that it wont be as easy as they think. Our Lady has her secret weapons…’
Admittedly, the two internationally recognised prelates – although holding territories close by- seemingly come from two different ends of the catholic spectrum. Cardinal Schonborn was criticised this week by Catholic Herald and Lifesitenews.com for his recent liberal views he expressed on homosexuality and in the past he was blasted by conservative Catholics for the famed ‘balloon mass’. Whilst in direct contrast Archbishop Leonard has been loathed by modernists for implementing in Belgium the Tridentine Mass and the traditional priesthood the FSSP, has been ‘charged with homophobia’ and attacked by ‘gay-rights’ activists after citing homosexual acts were “abnormal” – to which he responded “I might face imprisonment in a few years, but it could offer me a much needed vacation.”
The two prelates coming from two different positions to support Medjugorje puts aside debate and makes it difficult for the Medjugorje phenomenon to be labelled under any so-called ‘wing’ of Catholicism.
Both prelates also have strong standing in the Vatican. Archbishop Leonard preached the 1999 Lenten retreat for Pope John Paul II and the Roman Curia and Cardinal Schonborn was made Member of the Education Congregation by Pope Francis in 2013 as well as already being a member of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
Recently Rorate Caeli and Gianluca Bavile spread reports that the Vatican has restricted the visionaries since the parish priest Fr Marinko took a decision himself to place restrictions in Medjugorje. Soon after the reports were spread, they were found to be denied by the CDF and as of now the Vatican has taken no action.
Mgr Leonard is also a well known to be highly conservative and described by Vatican Insider Andrea Tornielli as ‘the most traditional prelate in Belgium’. Rorate Caeli meanwhile has appraised Mgr Leonard for his efforts to restore traditional liturgy, calling him ‘a breathing space for orthodoxy’ and complaining his resignation was approved at ‘record speed’ and it’s ‘equally unfortunate that Mgr Leonard is stepping down without being made Cardinal’.
Rorate Caeli has also claimed ‘truly traditional Catholics need no convincing of the false claims of Medjugorje’ Yet Archbishop Leonard will host the visionary Marija Pavlovic on 29th September.
Mgr Leonard recently challenged opponents of Medjugorje saying that books that attack Medjugorje lead him to believe and whilst he agrees with some criticisms he highlights that one can pick out problems in all human affairs but there are ‘fundamentals and accidentals’. For Mgr Leonard it was clear the fundamental elements of Medjugorje are good and he warned opposition of having a ‘polemical tone that does not seem to be in place.’ He refuted arguments that conversions can happen where ever prayer takes place saying ‘“that logic that does not seem to me to be completely correct” explaining “there are many other places in the world where there is prayer, where there is confession, where Eucharist is celebrated, but there are not the same kind of evident fruits!”
Archbishop Leonard reached world fame in 2013 when he prayed for ‘gay-rights’ FEMEN activists whilst they doused him with water and shouted at him – the event was broadcast by international media.
In 2013 the National Medjugorje Movement took a group from the UK to the Holy Land led by Fr Gianni Sgreva CP, Founder of the Oasis of Peace community, where we met and spent the week with Archbishop Leonard and the visionary Vicka Ivankovic who had her apparitions daily in his presence (images below).