Sunday, December 6, 2009
THE TRUTH ABOUT MEDJUGORJE BY FATHER DR. LJUDEVIT RUPCIC
Father Ljudevit Rupcic was born in Hrdomilje (Humac-Ljubuski) on September 26, 1920. After his studies in the Franciscan High School at Siroki Brijeg, he entered the Franciscan Order in 1939. Father Rupcic completed his theological studies at the Zagreb Theological Faculty and received his doctorate in Sacred Scripture in 1958. He was appointed Professor of New Testament at the Franciscan School of Theology in Sarajevo in 1958.
Father Rupcic also served on the Theological Commission of the Yugoslav Bishops' Conference from 1969-1980. The author served two prison terms for alleged "hostile propaganda" against the Yugoslav communist regime, in 1948, and again between the years 1952-1956. Father Rupcic was charged under the infamous article #133 of the Criminal Code of the SFRJ.
Father Rupcic died on 25 June 2003. He has given the last 22 years of his life to Our Lady and to Medjugorje. He has never asked for anything in return except for the truth. He was never tired in his continuing quest for the truth.
Father Rupcic is the author of many books - four on Medjugorje alone - as well as a variety of works on New Testament exegesis. He has also translated the New Testament into Croatian. "The Truth About Medjugorje" - is a candid, realistic and point-by-point response to the pamphlet "Medjugorje" published by Msgr. Pavao Zanic, Bishop of Mostar.
According to Father Rupcic: The bishop stresses in his pamphlet that "the Church and Our Lady have no need of falsehoods." Similarly inspired by the love of truth, my duty and my conscience compel me to take a different stand and try to articulate the claims of Medjugorje from the other side, as it were, according to the universal principle "audiatur at altera pars" (let the other side be heard).
But there is something more than even the love of Truth which impels me to respond to the bishop. I am also moved by love of the Bishop himself. On the occassion of his 1971 episcopal consecration in Mostar, a layman greeted Zanic in the name of the faithful of the diocese of Mostar-Duvno (of whom I am also one) with these words, "We shall enclose you in our hearts and throw the keys into the sea." The bishop responded, "My service will be loved. And please, if I should ever forget and turn to the other side, remind me!"
In what way, you ask, is my response such a reminder? Because the Gospel itself compels me when it says, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother. If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell the Church! (Matthew 18:15-17)
The bishop has been called to account - not only once, but on countless occassions and before many witnesses. Despite this, he continues declaring "Urbi et Orbi" - before the whole world - his fabrications about Medjugorje. Because of this, there is nothing left for me to do but, in the spirit of the Gospels, to inform the whole Church.