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, December 16, 2009

FATHER SLAVKO BARBARIC IS NOT A DISOBEDIENT FRANCISCAN

Was Father Slavko's presence in Medjugorje illegal? Did he carry out pastoral work illegally in Medjugorje? How do we define the word "illegal"? This is what I would like to write about tonight. Father Slavko is dead now. He cannot defend himself anymore. After giving his whole life to God and to men he shouldn't be remembered as a "Disobedient Franciscan". Let there be justice for him.

Why did Bishop Zanic order Father Slavko to be sent away from Medjugorje? Why was Father Slavko deprived of confessional jurisdiction in the territories of all dioceses of Herzegovina? Did he really do anything seriously wrong? In October 1984, Bishop Zanic ordered Father Slavko not to permit the apparitions to take place in church any more but Father Slavko did not carry out these orders. On 30th January 1985, he was ordered to leave Medjugorje. But Father Slavko disobeyed this order and remained in Medjugorje until the 15th of September when he moved to Blagaj (25 km away). He was ordered not to go to Medjugorje anymore but he disobeyed this order regularly. On 15th September 1988, the Franciscan Provincial in Humac suggested that Father Slavko be transferred to the Monastery of Humac. Father Slavko moved there but returned permanently to Medjugorje in 1991 without the bishop's permission. Throughout these years he continued to remain in Medjugorje even though he was constantly being ordered to leave Medjugorje. On 21st February 2000, his faculties for hearing confession had been withdrawn. He died on 24th November 2000.

Why did Father Slavko want to remain in Medjugorje despite the bishop's opposition? Was it because he was disobedient by nature? Visionary Ivan confirmed that he had received this "message" from the Gospa on 3rd February 1985: I wish Slavko to remain here and to attend to all the details and the notes so that at the end of my visit we will have a synoptic image of everything." So who should Father Slavko obey? Our Lady or the Bishop?

Remaining in Medjugorje had brought Father Slavko so much trouble and pain but still he insisted to remain there. His years in Medjugorje were certainly not easy years. His life did not flow like a song. He had to work so hard not for himself but for the Church, for God's people despite the bishop's disapproval. And we all know how difficult it is to go against the tide. Only a real hero like Father Slavko could swim upstream to make Mother's Village and St. Francis's Garden a reality. Only a real hero like Father Slavko could survive the most adverse conditions and make Medjugorje what it is today. What did he gain from his stay in Medjugorje? Nothing for himself as we can see. On the contrary he put himself in a very disadvantaged position and in the end he was even deprived of the faculties of hearing confession. He died a premature death due to over working.

Why did Father Slavko continue to allow the apparitions to take place in the church? Because he knew that the apparitions are genuine. And he was punished for it. Is it fair? Why did he climb Mount Krizevac every day? He climbed Mount Krizevac at dawn every day because Our Lady has said that she prays at the foot of the Cross on Mount Krizevac every morning at 5.00 am. Those who have climbed Mount Krizevac before would know how rocky it is and how difficult it is to climb this mountain. And we all know how cold it can be at 5.00 am in the morning. And Father Slavko wasn't very healthy either. But Father Slavko would never miss the opportunity to join Our Lady in prayer every morning. Not even the most unfavourable weather conditions could stop him from climbing this mountain every day. That was why he refused to leave Medjugorje. How could he join Our Lady in prayer every morning away from Medjugorje? His immense love for Our Lady was the greatest reason why he refused to leave Medjugorje. And it may also be true to say that it was his immense love for Our Lady that got him into trouble with the bishop.

The word "illegal" means against the law. Is it against the law to join Our Lady in prayer? Is it against the law to do good deeds? Whose law is that? Is Mother's Village illegal? Is St. Francis's Garden illegal? Is the Cenacolo Community illegal? Are the good fruits of Father Slavko illegal? Did Father Slavko preach illegally? What did he preach? The word of God and the messages of Our Lady. Can these be illegal?

Father Slavko is not a fool. He is a brilliant scholar with a Ph.D. in psychology. He knew what he was doing. There must be something in Medjugorje that made him believe that the apparitions are authentic. That was why he continued to defend Medjugorje despite all odds. If there is nothing on Podbrdo Hill and Mount Krizevac, why did he climb these mountains everyday? Surely he wouldn't make a fool of himself like that? He knew that Our Lady is there. In order to defend Medjugorje and to prove to the world that the apparitions are authentic, Father Slavko has really made a lot of sacrifices. He really deserves all the praises on earth and not unfounded criticisms.

To those who are not in favor of him, just remember him as a good priest who lived a holy life. In this sinful world, seldom can we come across a holy man like Father Slavko. His refusal to leave Medjugorje is no big deal when one looks at the great projects that he has done for Our Lady.

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