The State of Virginity

The State of Virginity
I should like you to be free of all worries. The unmarried man is busy with the Lord's affairs, concerned with pleasing the Lord; but the married man is busy with this world's demands and occupied with pleasing his wife. This means he is divided. The virgin - indeed, any unmarried woman - is concerned with things of the Lord, in pursuit of holiness in body and spirit. The married woman, on the other hand, has the cares of this world to absorb her and concerned with pleasing her husband. I am going into this with you for your own good. I have no desire to place restrictions on you, but I do want to promote what is good, what will help you to devote yourselves entirely to the Lord. 1 Corinthians 7:32-35

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

JUSTICE FOR FATHER JOZO ZOVKO

It has been raining the whole day today and I thought of going to bed early tonight. I suddenly thought of Father Jozo Zovko. Instead of sleeping early I went to the web to get the latest updates on him. When I googled Father Jozo Zovko, the first three articles that came out were 1. The 'Saint' Jozo Zovko And His Many Sex-Affairs, 2. The Newsletter of Discernment, and 3. Father Jozo Zovko: A Brief Biography. I read through all these three articles. After reading these articles, I felt that I must write something for Father Jozo Zovko.

According to the first article: Father Jozo Zovko has been suspended twice, the first time by Bishop Zanic on 23 August 1989 and a second time by Bishop Peric on June 14 1994. Why has Jozo been suspended in 1989 by bishop Zanic? Officially it was not mentioned, but insiders do know. In 1986 already a dutch business-man who lived in Yugoslavia said to Mark Waterinckx "that Jozo had a special interest for beautiful ladies."

At that time Mark was shocked and scandalized by "such a slander". But later more and more such rumours came to his ears. In the summer of 1989 an American girl came to see him and told him with all details how Jozo sexually asaulted her. Next day Mark went to Tihaljina to confront Jozo with this story. Jozo denied everything but was pale and in a terrible state. He trembled and accused his good friend Mark (since 1984 he was Mark's confessor) of bringing him in such a situation while the church was full of pilgrims waiting for his service.

Meanwhile the American girl had told her nightmare to her confessor, the American Fr. Filip Pavic. This Franciscan contacted Mark and told him that he had already heard different similar accusations against Jozo earlier. Also Pavic was really puzzled and told about Jozo's sex-problem to Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic, who immediately shouted 2 times: "He did it AGAIN!"

According to the second article: The list of priests at Medugorje who have sexual problems is growing everyday. Back before the claimed apparitions ever started they had problems with both Father Jozo Zovko and Tomislav Vlasic conducting sensitivity training with little boys. To this day they continue having affairs with both men and women.

According to the Franciscan Provincial in Mostar, Fr. Slavko Soldo, Fr. Jozo's superior, "It's not true that Fr. Jozo was suspended by his Franciscan general. He is not suspended! He is a priest in good standing with his community! And regarding the charges against him, it's interesting that not one of those women has ever sent any of those letters to me. And I'm the first person who should know. Fr. Jozo is responsible to me as far as discipline goes. I find it interesting that neither has the bishop ever sent me a copy of any of those supposed letters. Let me repeat: never have such charges - anything like them - ever been brought to my attention - and there are none in my office preceeding my time as Provincial! Of course now they can be invented and sent to me afterwards."

Who is the real Father Jozo Zovko anyway? He is the kind of man who can be found innumerable hours a day praying in front of the tabernacle. Because of his deep faith and his devotion to God he has gained tremendous influence in the parishes where he was assigned. Many pilgrims flocked to Medjugorje and since 1992 to the monastery in Siroki Brijeg just to be touched by him and to listen to his inspiring words. If he were really a sex maniac as what the first two articles described him, do you think the pilgrims would still take the trouble to go and see him?

The first article described him as the 'saint' with many sex affairs. Has Father Jozo Zovko ever called himself a saint? And how many sex affairs were there? Any evidence? Who were these ladies who were supposed to have been molested by him? We don't even know if these allegations were true.

Have we ever asked ourselves the question, "What has Father Jozo been doing all these years?" Did he get married or elope with a blonde and is now enjoying a wonderful sex life with his wife? Did he ever pester the Pope to allow him to get married? No, he didn't. All these years, he has been carrying out his duties as a priest faithfully and with undivided attention. Isn't that enough? This is what we all see with our eyes. But have we ever seen any of his sexual affairs with our eyes? Father Jozo never left the priesthood to get married and as we can see, he continues to live a celibate life. After all those accusations against him, he probably dare not go near a woman again! To me, he is more respectable than those men who can only become priests on the condition that they are allowed to get married.

Even if those allegations against him were true (though many would doubt the authenticity of these allegations) , they have already faded into the past. How long ago was that? Is it fair to dig into someone's past? What is more important is the present. In the present, Father Jozo is a good priest and he is well respected and loved by many of the faithful throughout the world.

Let those who are sinless cast the first stone. And who is sinless? Who has the right to punish someone for the one sin that he has committed many years ago again and again when God has already forgiven him? Or has he really committed any of those alleged sins? What if he did not?These two articles aforementioned would always be there to haunt Father Jozo. Is it fair?

Lastly, regarding the allegation that "the list of priests at Medjugorje who have sexual problems is growing everyday" this is certainly an exaggeration. It is like punishing the whole class when one or two students of that class created mischief!

3 comments:

  1. 18.11.09
    Dear Lavinia! Today I saw the first time your letters in internet. It is better for you and for Fra JOZO ZOVKO, if you don't inform the people about so very bad things. These bad homepages are very long time in the web. It cannot be, that you repeat bad stories about Fra JOZO ZOVKO! It will be better, if you inform the readers about Fra JOZO's hard working for the very poor children and families in BiH. Many children cannot visit the school, because they have no money for clothes and school books. It seems, that you don't know anything about fra JOZO's hard working. You also have not inform about Fra JOZO's beautyful and valuable books
    concerning the messages from the "Queen of PEACE".
    Please, you can help Fra JOZO. You can write about the many good things he has done! You can
    inform with the website:
    www.gospa.at
    and give a LINK. In many countries there are people they are speaking German, or they can translate per internet. I hope, that you have understand me and you will help GOSPA and Fra JOZO ZOVKO, and I will be happy to hear from you.
    God bless you, your friend
    Traude Janisch from AUSTRIA,
    I am a helper for fra JOZO and I will invite you and all people to pray for Father Jozo and fasting for him. Please, give all these in the hands and in the "UNBEFLECKTE HERZ" of the "Queen of Peace". Thank you very much, it is very important!!!

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  2. Dear Traude Janisch,
    Thanks for your comment. I do know what Father Jozo Zovko has done for the world. Of course I will help him. I know that he is a good priest who lives a holy life. I will be writing more about the good things that he has done in the future. In fact my purpose of writing this article is to let the whole world know that Father Jozo Zovko is a good priest who really deserves our respect. I do care for him and I will always remember him in my prayers.

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  3. Jozo has been suspended and still is suspended by his bishop
    Do you think the bishop has no reason therefore???

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