Accepted paper:

"We all laughed at the secret of the collapse of Communism, only Communists believed in that": The first ten years of the Medjugorje apparitions

Author:

Marijana Belaj (University of Zagreb)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I will analyse Mary as a symbol of resistance in the context of the Medjugorje apparitions in 1980-ies. In that period Medjugorje apparitions have disturbed the spirits, not only within the communist authorities of Yugoslavia, but also within the Church.

Paper long abstract:

The apparitions in Medjugorje are an extremely complex phenomenon that produces different interpretations and evaluations. In this paper I will focus solely on the perspective of those who recognize the apparitions of Mary as a symbol of resistance. This Mary's role I will analyse in the context of the Medjugorje apparitions in a time of socio-political crisis in communist Yugoslavia, primarily generated by the death of its president Josip Broz Tito and demonstrations in Kosovo. In that period Medjugorje apparitions have disturbed the spirits, not only within the communist authorities of Yugoslavia, but also within the Church. National authorities characterize the apparitions of Medjugorje as fiction of local Franciscans - "clerical nationalists", in the words of one of communist officials - with the aim of bringing down the constitutional order of the communist Yugoslavia. At the same time, the alleged apparitions in Medjugorje have deeply shaken the Church of this area and intensified the centuries-old conflict between diocesan and Franciscan priests of the Mostar-Duvno Diocese, where Medjugorje belongs.

panel Reli008
Cold War Marian politics and prophecies