The founder of Caritas of Birmingham interviewed Bishop Zanic on his position on Medjugorje. The interview was cordial, but Bishop Zanic was firm in his denial of the apparitions. This conversation helped to form a conviction that shaped the founder’s understanding of the Church and its relationship to Medjugorje over the years. Namely, that God does not want Medjugorje â€œapprovedâ€ by the Church, at least for now. This face to face encounter with Bishop Zanic gave deeper insights and discernment on the Medjugorje situation. Caritas’ founder, in the hour he met with the Bishop, tried to unravel the reasons the Bishop was so against Medjugorje, presenting questions respectfully, as would a mediator who desired to help bridge two opposing sides. He believed at the heart of everything were misunderstandings and miscommunications. He, however, found Bishop Zanic immovable in his opinions. Bishop Zanic laid out his arguments of why he did not believe. The founder was familiar with Bishop Zanic’s view before meeting with him, and knew also that though Bishop Zanic had communicated his concerns to Cardinal Ratzinger, who was the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine for the Faith in Rome, that the Vatican, rather than accept Bishop Zanic’s negative recommendation, removed from him the authority to decide the fate of Medjugorje, placing the responsibility within the hands of the Episcopal Committee of Yugoslavia. The founder came to understand that non constat de supernaturalitate was the perfect place for Medjugorje to be, because as private revelation not condemned by the Church, the declaration gave freedom to the faithful to follow Medjugorje and to spread it. In this position, it has been protected from elements within the Church that could move to suppress the apparitions, suppress Our Lady’s words, or move Medjugorje in a direction different than what Our Lady desires. The founder, who came away from his meeting with Bishop Zanic liking and respecting him, had a profound sense not to judge the Bishop. He came to believe that Bishop Zanic was being used by Our Lady to protect Medjugorje, doing the will of God in the position he held.
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