I AM sorry to be in disagreement with your two sincere correspondents (April 17) about the spiritual fruits of Medjugorje. I am obliged also to regard the disparaging reference to Bishop Lindsay, of Hexham and Newcastle as unwarranted.
The inaccuracies themselves and assumptions of these two writers are patent jargon currently associated with the apparitions though extraneous to them. This impression remains with me after a week spent earlier this month in Medjugorje with a group of 180 from the north of Ireland. This group was led by another 1"saintly priest" on his sixth pilgrimage.
Now to those imaginary truths: (i) The Sacrifice of the Mass isn't being concelebrated "continually". There is only one church and I spent all day Friday 10 there. There was Mass in Italian at 11 a.m. but the next in Croatian didn't begin until 7.00 p.m.
(ii)The steeper climb is decidedly not the Hill of Apparitions (Verkavici) — I was up and down both!
(iii) The scene "outside the little office of the Prebystero where Our Lady keeps her evening tryst" could be described neither as quiet nor contemplative, but boisterous.
The safety of the few invalids fortunate enough to be to the fore of the milling crowd was, in my view, frequently being put at risk with the mayhem going on around them — not one evening, but every evening.
It is sad to find a Christian in 1987 conscientiously flaunting "a beautiful gift of perfume on her left wrist" as ostensible divine approval. Does this interpretation of our Faith not present contemporaries like John Sullivan, Dom Marmion and Edel Quinn as sad spectacles of deception. If Medjugorje can deprive the Faithful at large of their due respect for episcopal authority, as seems the case with your correspondent, Therese Pollen, the devil will have already "played his cards with great skill" — and lost no tricks!
Jerry Gallagher Dungannon Co. Tyrone