If a drink is mixed with rat poison, it's not sufficient to point out that it contains only two percent strychnine with 98 percent water: the whole drink has to be poured out. If the Church does not, herself, finally lance the boil that is connected with Medjugorje, then anti-Catholic groups will do the job and with pleasure. And then the patience extended to the enthusiasm of Medjugorje could become a boomerang that attacks the Church from inside, if the groups previously connected with the Bosnian "place of pilgrimage", finally disillusioned, should turn against the Faith and the Church.
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The Medjugorje phenomenon, fraught as it is with all manner of difficulties, presents a unique and extremely severe problem for the Church. There are hordes of influential neo-conservative clerics and laymen who favor the continuation of these pilgrimages despite the fact that these pilgrimages have been discouraged by the local ordinaries and the Vatican. The promotion of the Medjugorje phenomenon is a decidedly neo-conservative endeavor, demonstrating that the neo-conservative criticism of traditional Catholics as disobedient is a hypocritical canard.
However, the whole situation holds even greater significance for the future of the Catholic Church. Hauke makes an important point that the bad fruits of Medjugorje could evolve into a full scale attack on the Church from within. This attack would necessarily originate from disillusioned neo-conservatives, individuals and groups that have been given, by consequence of an allegiance between them and powers in the highest magisterial offices of the Church, a wide and powerful influence on mainstream Catholics everywhere. Because of this far ranging influence of neo-conservatives, if the attack mentioned by Hauke should materialize from Medjugorje the new divisions it would cause in the modern Church could prove devastating.
However, the phenomenon has already been allowed to grow unabated in the years following Bishop Zanic's troubles. Pilgrimages are still sponsored far and wide in thousands, if not millions, of Catholic parishes around the world. The numbers of pilgrims have not decreased since the Vatican started to discourage pilgrimages, but they have rather increased. Disobedience in this matter has grown unabated in neo-conservative Catholic circles. If the Church should "lance this boil" now, I'm afraid it will already be too late to avoid the disillusion that will foment into an attack on the Church from within.
The Gamaliel approach has been tried and found lacking. The modern Magisterium must stop abrogating its responsibilities.