A laicised priest who had been the spiritual director to six people who said they experienced visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje has been excommunicated. Source: CNA.
Tomislav Vlasic, who had been a Franciscan priest until he was laicised in 2009, was excommunicated on July 15 by a decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican. The excommunication was announced last week by the Brescia Diocese in Italy, where Mr Vlasic lives.
The diocese said that since his laicisation, Mr Vlasic “has continued to carry out apostolic activities with individuals and groups, through conferences and online; he has continued to present himself as a religious and priest of the Catholic Church, simulating the celebration of sacraments”.
The diocese said Mr Vlasic has been the source of “serious scandal to Catholics” by disobeying the directives of ecclesiastical authorities.
When he was laicised, Mr Vlasic was forbidden from teaching or engaging in apostolic work, and especially from teaching about Medjugorje.
He was in 2009 accused of teaching false doctrine, manipulating consciences, disobeying ecclesiastical authority, and of committing acts of sexual misconduct.
A person who is excommunicated is prohibited from receiving the sacramentals until the penalty has been lifted.
Alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje have long been a subject of controversy in the Church, which have been investigated by the Church but not yet authenticated or rejected.
The alleged apparitions began June 24, 1981, when six children in Medjugorje, a town in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina, claimed to have apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.