Thursday, January 03, 2008
From the Unity Publishing website (scroll down):
Announcement to the parishioners of St. William, the Confessor:
After offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on the Solemnity of the Mother of God, Fr. Paul recited, along with the congregation, the Prayer to St. Michael for an end to abortion, then moved to the lectern to make an announcement, which was as follows.
Today is January 1st and I need to make an apology to you but more importantly to Our Lady and Our Lord. On January 10th I will be finishing four years here as Pastor of St. William’s so I am speaking to my parishioners as Pastor. If you are a visitor, welcome! I mentioned in my homily, True Devotion to Mary and false devotion to Mary. I ask apology of you, Our Lady and her Son, Jesus Christ.
Over the last four years I have not spoken out, either by cowardice or sloth, often enough about the false devotion to our Lady under the title “Lady of Medjugorje”. There is no such person. I went once to visit a man, who was dying and as he was dying I gave him the Last Sacraments and then he asked me to bless his room. He had religious pictures around his room and there was a picture of this “thing”, which is called “Lady of Medjugorje.” It is not the Blessed Virgin Mary. I told the man I wouldn’t bless the room until he did something with that image.
The next day I arrived to bless the room and he had glued a picture of his dog over the other image. I said, “Well, that is very fitting.”
If you have statues or pictures of this image and you do not wish to discard them, bring them to me and I will see that they are destroyed. You know for a fact that I am not against statues. (Father turns and points to the statues around the Altar.) I think we can safely say that.
When I was assigned to my first parish as a young priest, just a half mile down the road there was a woman that said Our Lady was appearing on the bark of her tree. I never went down to see it until we were ordered to go by the bishop, Bishop Thomas Tschoepe. I went once and that was it; of course everyone else had to pay admission. In the background you could hear, “cha-ching cha-ching.”
I am telling you this because if you have any kind of devotion, book, statue, or anything connected with Our Lady of Medjugorje, she doesn’t exist. The bishop of that place has written about it extensively, the Bishop of Mostar, and so I am telling you as your Pastor to cease and desist if you have any of that. Perhaps you have done this through misguidance or perhaps I haven’t mentioned it enough. It has been very rare that I have done it, but I thought how fitting on this Feast Day, Feast of Mary the Mother of God, that True Devotion to Mary should only be promoted.
Please do not give me stories about how your rosary was silver and then turned to gold or even how so many miracles have happened by going and visiting there. Sure, God can write straight with a crooked line. Miracles happened at Auschwitz during World War II, but we don’t promote Auschwitz to be proliferated around the world.
Again, all of this is based on the fact that, as your Pastor…and I am only speaking to you, my parishioners, as your pastor I have to promote True Devotion to Mary and these false apparitions for my parishioners can lead you astray like that man, who was getting ready for death. I didn’t want him turning to a false apparition and being led astray.