It's the usual media blunder - a retired Italian bishop says something, and the press present it as being an authoritative Church or Papal statement. Whenever the press reports 'The Vatican' saying or doing something, one needs to ask the question, who really said this, and in what context? Are we dealing with a Papal encyclical or (as we see in this case) a magazine interview with a retired bishop. Of course, what will happen is that many sincere and devout Catholics will be very shaken by this article. It will raise in them a genuine distrust of the Holy See. It may be that in the future the Church will formally say some very negative things about the alleged visions - then devotees of Medjugorje may have a difficult time accepting this, but I'm sure the vast majority have a love for the Holy Father and will listen to the voice of Peter. However, the Holy See has not decided that that Medjugorje is a diabolical deceit, and this article will be the source of much upset and confusion.Very sage advice on the press handling of any news article about 'the Vatican'.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Media Watch on Medjugorje
~Zadok comments on a report on Medjugorje in The Daily Mail with the headline: Vatican denounces group's claim of seeing the Virgin Mary more than 40,000 times as 'work of the devil'.