WE are unique in these islands as the only Catholic newspaper to report over the past five years or so on the apparitions of Our Lady in Yugoslavia.
My informants in Rome tell me that Hans Urs Von Balthasar, the theologian close to John Paul II, is very much in favour of the young witnesses of Medjugorje.
Marian experts such as Laurentin and Fr ,Michael O'Carroll have weighed in heavily on the side of the visionaries.
Yugoslavia in many ways is the dividing line between Christian Europe and the Moslem world. You can see the Moslem minarets in Mostar, and Yugoslavian spirituality is of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
Personally, I waited for a year before publishing anything about Medjugorje, and spent that year listening to what I considered balanced and intelligent views about the apparitions. I have always been sceptical about "Visions" after visiting Kerrytown in Co Donegal in Ulster, where apparitions were alleged to have taken place in the 1950's. They turned out to be without foundation.
The classic example of misplaced belief in the supernatural was in the 1920's in Ireland when a "Bleeding Statue" of the Sacred Heart in a Tipperary farmhouse turned out to be a monstrous fraud.