Msgr. Pearse Lacey Retired Bishop of Toronto
Msgr. Pearse Lacey,
Retired Bishop of Toronto (Canada)
"Medjugorje . . . a continuation of Fatima."
Msgr. Pearse Lacey, the 85-year old retired bishop of Toronto (Canada), was in Medjugorje from October 12 to 19, 2002, with a group of Canadian pilgrims. He came once already on pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Queen of Peace, in 1987. On Sunday, October 13th (the day of Our Lady of Fatima, as he himself underlined), he presided the English pilgrims Mass in concelebration with about 20 priests. On arrival in the sacristy, his first question was: “Is Our Lady still appear-ing?” Msgr. Lacey underlined that he believes that Medjugorje is a continuaion of Fatima.
Msgr. Pearse Lacey: “I came to Medjugorje in 1987. Things were much more primitive then than they are today, but the Spirit is still here and the presence of Our Lady is all about. You can’t move anywhere that you don’t sense the marvellous grace of God affecting the lives of people. I have met people that are here because they are on drugs, on alcohol. I have met people with tragic situations in their lives and the miraculous way in which God is reflecting, manifesting Himself. One of the priests told me that he was hearing confessions, he eventually stopped and left, and they drew him back! The magnitude of the confessions is enough if you want to be satisfied with the presence of God here. Unbelievable. For me, that’s Medjugorje.
"When I was in Toronto, eighty Canadian bishops had lunch with the Pope. Some of the working Monsignors from the Vatican were there. One of them mentioned the word “Medjugorje”. I said: “You believe in Medjugorje?” He said: “No!” It was like a firecracker going off on me, because I have run into this kind of silliness! Twenty million people have come here! Even a blind man could see this! I told him: “The Holy Father is sitting right here, he believes, ask him!” He retorted: “That’s his private opinion!” I think it is scandalous in many ways… How God puts up with us sometimes, I don’t know! God can do anything. Our Lady’s apparitions are no problem for me. Fundamentally, it is a question of belief. We can’t inflict faith and devotion on people. Mostly you can show it by your own example. This is the freedom that God has given to all of us. He wants us to respond out of faith and love. Time will move on, God will burry them all, including me!
"The basic message of Medjugorje is absolutely solid. We are living in 2002, but men and women are still made of body and soul, we all have traces of the original sin. Our needs are the same as in the times of the apostles and in any generation. Basically, we are the children of God and our cries are as huge as in any generation. Therefore, the message has to be the same! We cannot do without God. This is the marvellous thing about Medjugorje. This is an oasis of God, this is the life of the Church as it should be. Tradition is not a dirty word, although it seems so to some people! The life of a priest consists in bringing people back to God, people who have wandered away because they thought religion was irrelevant. Thank God that he is God and provides places like this. I have been to other places, but Medjugorje is the shining light today in our society.”
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