by Marco Corvaglia
Go to the page The Bishop Opposed Medjugorje... and the Regime [Part 1]
§ 4. A 1987 Special Informative Report
The journalist Žarko Ivković, a supporter of the alleged apparitions (he also worked for the magazine "Medjugorje Tribune"), published in June 2011, with three other colleagues, the volume Misterij Međugorja (The Mystery of Medjugorje).
In it, a classified document is made known: a "Special Informative Report" of the UDBA (Yugoslav Communist police), dating back to 17 November 1987 and relating to the facts of Medjugorje.
Actually, the document constitutes another (and even unnecessary) confirmation of the firmness of Msgr. Žanić before the government, but the author of the book does not highlight this aspect and, besides, incredibly continues to present insinuating "hypotheses" (he himself presents them in this form), without being able to provide any real argumentation. In Italy, all this was spread by Paolo Brosio, in his book Viaggio a Medjugorje (Piemme, Milan, 2011), with the same frame of comment, substantially unrelated to the effective contents of the document.
In 1987, the police did not worry so much about Medjugorje (considering it, on the contrary, at the time, in a substantially favorable way, as we have seen in the first part of this article). The police worried about the clergy being enemies of the state. Among these enemies were both Father Jozo Zovko (former pastor of Medjugorje) and Bishop Pavao Žanić.
Indeed, as we shall see, the Informative Report clearly says that the police wanted to use the opposition of the bishop against the apparitions, in order to discredit him in the eyes of the local clergy and of the hierarchy.
Some important preliminary remarks: from the Informative Report one can clearly deduce that the intelligence used to intercept and read the letters addressed to the enemies of the state (hence to the Bishop Žanić and to Father Jozo Zovko). It is apparent that the same procedure was used for the letters sent by the Bishopric of Mostar.
In 1976, a nun, Manda Kozul, became pregnant. At the time, she used to live in Jablanovac, Zagreb, in a “mixed” Franciscan house, whose superior was Tomislav Vlašić.
On 25 October of that year this woman, to escape the scandal, was housed in Starnberg, Germany, with a very old man, whose housekeeper she became. There, on 25 January 1977, the child was born.
In November 1984, Msgr. Žanić received a letter from Germany (signed with the name of this woman), in which was written that the child’s father was Tomislav Vlašić.
Bishop Žanić found the former Sister in Germany, visited her in person that very month, and saw the child too. On this occasion, she denied being the author of the letter. Nowadays, it is rather clear that it had been written by the Communist police.
Later, however, the old employer of the woman found at home the letters that Vlašić had sent her and forwarded them, on 14 October 1985, to Rome, to the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who then delivered the correspondence to Msgr. Žanić.
What is relevant here to emphasize is that, in 1987, the police rejoiced that the allegations of Msgr. Žanić against Vlašić (code name: "Oto"), besides damaging the latter, damaged the bishop himself, outspoken opponent of the apparitions since 1982:
After bishop Pavao Žanić, OO [in the documents of the UBBA this abbreviation (for "operativno obrađivan") indicates the enemies of the regime who were being "operationally processed" – Note is mine. MC] of this sector, with the implementation of our first measure in this action, went to the GDR [German Democratic Republic, but, as a matter of fact, Starnberg was in the German Federal Republic – Note is mine. MC] with the aim to verify the affair of "Oto" with the former nun Kozul Manda and established the truth of the information received, he immediately committed himself to compromise "Oto". [...] Already in November 1985 he summoned the priests and nuns of the parish of Medjugorje, and also the “seers”, to the episcopal ordinariate of Mostar, where, by showing them some documents (letters and correspondence between "Oto" and the former nun Manda), officially made them aware that "Oto" had an illegitimate son with the former nun Manda. [...]
We got to compromise also the bishop Žanić, both in the eyes of the priests and of the church hierarchy, because of the position he assumed in the "Oto" case and against the "apparitions" of Medjugorje. With regard to the above, every day we are aware of confirmed news about the reactions of the Franciscans, both internally and abroad, against the local bishop.
["Special Informative Report" of the SDB, 17 November 1987, in Ivkovic et al., Misterij Međugorja, published in Italy in Brosio, Viaggio a Medjugorje, pp. 362-364]
We think that, with this framework, conditions favorable for further operational measures against Žanić have developed themselves. The aim of these measures, in the first place, was to create new disagreements and make them more profound than those existing between the reactionary part of the Franciscan clergy and of the diocesan clergy in Herzegovina, and especially to cause further distrust towards bishop Žanić. With regard to this issue, we propose to send a letter whose content says that Žanić does not have a proper relationship with the diocesan priests, that he abandoned the faith and the Church in Herzegovina and is unable and powerless to be a competent Ordinary. The letter has been wrote on behalf of an anonymous priest of the Diocese of Mostar, and we recommend to send it to Cardinal Franjo Kuharić [President of BKJ, Episcopal Conference of Yugoslavia – Note is mine. MC] in Zagreb, to archbishop Frane Franić [the biggest supporter of Medjugorje in Yugoslavia – Note is mine. MC] in Split and to Ratko Perić, rector of the St. Jerome boarding school, in Rome. [...] We think that the content will stimulate the Cardinal Kuharić in taking some action against Žanić. For this he will probably use the BKJ and also some representatives of the Holy See.
[Ibid., pp. 368-369]
It 's all very clear.
In relation to the story of Vlašić and Sister Manda, see the documented article Medjugorje: The unbearable sadness of duping the faithful – 2) Fr. Laurentin’s fabrication concerning the father of a nun’s child – Part 1 – The libel, by Louis Bélanger.
The Mostar Curia responds to the slanders contained in a propaganda film for Medjugorje sold on the Internet in 2017:
Updated on 5 August 2017