Medjugorje and the Undead
Kronzer's investigation of the dark underworld of religious fraud was prompted by the loss of his wife, Ardie, to what he describes as the Medjugorje "cult."
Adherents to Medjugorje, however, have poured millions, if not billions of dollars into the cult. It is the potential misappropriation of these funds which has prompted several investigations into the dealings of the Medjugorje promoters.
The examination of fraud connected with Medjugorje reached spectacular proportions in 2002 when military-style attacks were launched against a bank, Hercegovacka Banka, known to be controlled by Croatian extremists in Bosnia. Croatian extremists used the bank to finance their efforts to separate the Croatian section of Bosnia from the nation of Bosnia, and unite Croatian Bosnia with the independent nation of Croatia.
Ominous signs for Fr. Barbaric and the Hercegovacka Banka began to appear as early as the November 11, 2000 general elections in Bosnia. As election results began to come in, the loss of influence of Croatian extremists in the future Bosnia government became increasingly certain. At the same time, their activities were coming under increasing scrutiny from the international community.
The day after Barbaric's reported death, the Blessed Virgin is said to have told one of the "seers" that, "I rejoice with you and I desire to tell you that your brother Slavko has been born into Heaven and intercedes for you."
Kronzer states that he has information from a reliable source that puts the "Our Lady of Medjugorje" message in doubt, and strongly indicates that "Slavko" may actually be alive, and avoiding unheavenly questions concerning what he knows about the Hercegovacka Banka.
Because the bank was involved with activities undermining the international peace agreement in the Balkans, it is possible that "Slavko," if found alive, could spend time before The Hague Tribunal.
Each time I read this article, I feel really sad. After reading this article again tonight, I somehow feel that I should write something for my hero, Father Slavko Barbaric. A holy man like him should always be remembered and honoured for generations to come and shouldn't be defamed like this.
Bram Stoker's "Dracula" has always been one of my favourite books and all I know about vampires is that they rule armies of wolves and hordes of rats. They can turn into bats. They corrupt the pure and destroy the innocent. They can enter dreams and torment minds and they feast forever on our blood. Well, as far as I know, Father Slavko did none of these horrible things. Those who know him would agree that he is a very religious man and that he lived a very holy life. It is certainly unfair to compare a harmless man like Father Slavko with a vampire.
We all know that Father Slavko lived a very simple and humble life and he did not care much for himself nor did he ask for anything for himself. That was why he aged and died prematurely. Now to answer the question whether he really died prematurely. Well, why should Father Slavko fake his death in the first place? What is his purpose for doing do? Do you think he would enjoy himself hiding away from the whole world thus being unable to do the things that he loves to do so much - to celebrate mass, to tend to the needs of the Medjugorje pilgrims, to serve God and us, to pray on Podbrdo Hill and Mount Krizevac? He is not the kind of man who lives only for himself and he certainly would not hide away from the whole world and enjoy life secretly. That is not his purpose! His purpose is to live the life of Christ and to serve the world as He did.
Did he fake his death for the sake of money? What does he need so much money for? He doesn't have to pay for his children's college fees nor does he need money to buy a ring for his wife on every Valentine's Day. Celibate priests devote their lives to God and to the Church and they do not care much about money. Whatever they have belongs to the church. Father Slavko has written so many books but did he become rich? The answer is "no" because whatever money he has goes to the church.
When Our Lady says that "I rejoice with you and I desire to tell you that your Brother Slavko has been born into Heaven and intercedes for you" it doesn't mean that Father Slavko faked his death. Which part of the sentence explains this? Is there anyone who has seen Father Slavko hiding away in secret? Who is this person? Being alive in Heaven doesn't mean that he is still alive on earth and is hiding away secretly!
Do the Croatian extremists really want to separate the Croatian section of Bosnia from the nation of Bosnia and unite Croatian Bosnia with the independent nation of Croatia? Whose creative idea is this and what proof do we have? We don't even know if this statement is true. The question is, "Can the Medjugorje priests undertake such an important task?" They are not trained soldiers and they probably don't even know how to handle a gun. They are not extremists nor are they politicians who thirst for power. Medjugorje is a peaceful and humble place of prayer. In Medjugorje there is no war, only peace. There is no hatred, only love. And the Croatian people are very friendly, helpful, honest and selfless people. I am saying this based on my own personal experience. I haven't seen more honest people in my life.
What kind of criminal fraud is Medjugorje involved in? As far as I know, the Croatian people there make an honest living. And whatever donations that the pilgrims give to the Church are given willingly and wholeheartedly. There is no fraud!
Can we say that Medjugorje is a cult? What is a cult? A cult is defined in the Longman's dictionary as (a group of people that follow) a system of worship, esp. one that is different from the usual and established forms of religion in a particular society. I don't see any difference between the system of worship in Medjugorje and the churches in Malaysia. The only difference is people tend to be more religious when they are in Medjugorje. This is one of the good fruits of Medjugorje and it is something we should celebrate and not condemn.
Anyone who has lost his wife to Medjugorje should perhaps first of all take a look at his marriage lines. According to palmistry, there is a time set apart in one's life to marry and to divorce. Why is it so? Until all the secret laws and forces of nature are known, we can take no other standpoint than to accept this perpetual fact. Everything in life is fated. He should look at things positively. It may be a blessing in disguise for him. As one of my lecturers used to say, a successful man could easily find a much better and younger wife anytime should his wife choose to leave him irrespective of how old he is. Just look at Lee Majors. How beautiful his young wife is!