THE PRIESTS WHO ACTED AS ADVISORS and spiritual guides of the Medjugorje seers present a host of problems for the authenticity of supernatural events that reportedly happened and continue to happen there. As pointed out in Article Five, their disobedience and sexual activity do not bode well for the authenticity of supernatural claims made by the “seers”. The themes of disobedience, sexual aberrance, and a new wrinkle – cultic New Age Spirituality – will be examined in the current article wherein another Franciscan Friar, Spiritual Director, and Confidant of the “seers”, Father Tomislav Vlasic, is examined for all three of these transgressions.
Father Tomislav Vlasic
Tomislav Vlasic (born 1942), is a laicized Catholic priest who was formerly a member of the Franciscan Order, from Bosnia-Herzegovina and spiritual director of the seers of Medjugorje. Although ordained in 1969, by 1976, while still a priest, Vlasic became sexually involved with a Roman Catholic nun named Sister Rufina whom he impregnated and then sent away to Germany with the ardent request to keep their pregnancy secret. The child Toni was born in Germany on January 25, 1977. Sister Rufina kept their secret but nonetheless, in a series of intercepted letters to her lover, she could not restrain herself. Unfortunately for Vlasic, the letters found their way to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger who kept them concealed until 1984.
Meanwhile, in 1981 Father Vlasic attended an International Charismatic Meeting in Rome during which it was prophesied that, with the help of the Virgin Mary, he would lead a “multitude of people” from a place from which came forth “rivers of water.”
Following this charismatic jolt, within two months after the apparitions began at Medjugorje (July, 1981), Vlasic without permission from his Ordinary, abandoned his formal assignment in Capljina and headed for Medjugorje where he quickly became the “Spiritual Director” of the alleged visionaries, a fact that Vlasic boasted of in a letter to Pope John Paul II. Thus, according to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Mostar:
“In a letter dated 13 April 1984. Vlasic represented (himself to) the Pope as the one “who through divine providence guides the seers of Medjugorje“.
Congruent with this new spiritual responsibility, Vlasic quickly went to work compiling the “Parish Chronicle” detailing the apparitions and appended messages from Our Lady. Although he did not begin the Chronicles until October, he back-dated them to August 11, 1981.
Then, in July of 1982, the Franciscan Provincial recommended that Fr. Vlašić be formally assigned as the “spiritual assistant in Medjugorje”. Bishop Žanić, ignorant of Fr. Vlašić’s sexual aberrations, accepted the request on July 27, 1982, and officially installed him as a priest in his diocese assigned as Associate Pastor in Medjugorje.
It was not long until it became apparent to Bishop Žanić that Father Vlasic posed a unique challenge. In 1984, under pressure from the same bishop, a bishop who referred to him as a “mystifier and charismatic magician”, Vlašić was transferred to Vitina. From here, Father Vlasic composed a strange letter to a friend at the Vatican (perhaps to an equally strange cleric named Bishop Hnilica-discussed elsewhere) in which he complained about Bishop Zanic and called for a concerted effort against him:
“It would be necessary to get all the others involved (intellectuals, theologians, bishops, cardinals…). We have to admit that Satan can also work through the structures of the Church.”
It is unclear if Fr. Vlasic, whom the bishop had called a “magus”, was referring to “all the others” as a conjured cabal of “intellectuals, theologians, bishops, cardinals” who had perhaps penetrated the Vatican (as commonly reported), it is unclear if he was referring to them as “Satan” or if he was referring to the regular members of the Vatican bureaucracy as Satan- typical double speak, which betrays the command given by Jesus Christ to speak plainly warning that anything else is from the devil:
“Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one” (Matt 5:37).
If Vlasic is employing”double speak”, given what is know of him discussed below, it can be surmised what side of the equation he is on and to whom he is referring by the clause, “all the others”, which also makes it clear how “Satan” can “work through the structures of the Church.” Nonetheless, after several years in Vitina, Vlasic departed for Parma, Northern Italy (1987), with another woman who is also a supposed “seer”, by the name of Agnes Heupel (Sister Rufina is raising their child without a father and Fra Vlasic is with another woman) who was to become Co-Founder of a gender-mixed religious community, which the two named Kraljice mira, potpuno smo tvoji. Po Mariji k Isusu (“Queen of Peace, we are all yours: to Jesus through Mary”). This community received a boon when one of the Medjugorje seers, Marija Pavlovic, came to live with them in community and to experience her daily apparitions there. Eventually, Marija even endorsed their endeavor with a statement composed on March 8, 1987 in which she stated:
‘This is God’s plan…. As you can see, the Madonna has given the community its programme: ‘Kraljice mira, potpuno smo tvoji. Po Mariji k Isusu’ and is guiding this community through Fr. Tomislav and Agnes, while sending messages through her to the community” (Agnes is a medium).
However, on July 11, 1988, after the local bishop of Parma (who considered cohabitation between men and women as, “totally unrelated to any form of religious community accepted by the Church”) ordered the gender-mixed community closed, Marija quickly retracted her statement with another in which she admits to lying while simultaneously hinting at coercion (full statement).
“From the text and testimonies which bear my signature it follows that the Madonna communicated to me that the community and the program of Father Tomislav V. and Agnes Heupel are the way God intended for me and the rest of us. Now I repeat that I have never received from the Madonna, nor have I given to Father Tomislav V., not to any other individual, any such approval or instructions from the Madonna.
“My first declaration, as published in Croatian and Italian, does not correspond to the truth. I personally had no desire to give any sort of written declaration. Father Tomislav V. kept suggesting to me, stressing over and over again, that I as a seer should write the declaration which the world was waiting for.
“Before God, before the Madonna and the Church of Jesus Christ. Everything that can be understood as a confirmation or approval of this Work of Fr. Tomislav and Agnes Heupel, on the part of the Madonna through me, absolutely does not correspond to the truth and furthermore the idea that I had a spontaneous desire to write down this testimony is also not true.”
By the time the bishop of Parma ordered the community closed, Vlašić had already founded houses in four other dioceses, including one at Medjugorje, which was built in 1995 without permission or recognition by the local bishop. Fra Vlasic pulled this off with the help of yet another laywoman and supposed “seer”, Stefania Caterina, who in 2002 became the Vice-President of “Queen of Peace”, a growing New Age Confederation (as detailed below).
Characterized by suspicious relationships, marred by New Age mysticism, seers, and sexual aberrations, it is not surprising that in 2008 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith informed Fr. Vlašić that he was now the subject of investigation
“…for the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspected mysticism, disobedience towards legitimately issued orders” and charges of sexual misconduct (“contra sextum”).
On August 31 of the same year, the CDF operating through the Bishop of Mostar informed Vlasic that he had incurred the “censure of interdict latae sententiae“. Consequently, the CDF imposed the following sanctions: Fr Vlasic was
(1) To be confined to the Franciscan monastery in Lombardy
(2) To take a course in spiritual formation
(3) To cease associating with the Queen of Peace confederation,
(4) To refrain from juridical contracts or acts of administration, and
(5) To cease from preaching, spiritual direction, making public statements, and practicing the sacrament of confession, under pain of incurring the penalty of automatic interdict barring him from performing any of the sacraments.
Some Medjugorje devotees have endeavored to distance F. Vlasic’s errance from Medjugorje by stressing that these penalties were incurred after he left Medjugorje (and therefore have nothing to do with Medjugorje). It is important to note that this argument is specious due to the fact that the CDF clearly specified that these charges and penalties were imposed:
Moreover, in the sentence just prior to the adumbration of the foregoing penalties, the CDF stated Fr. Vlasic “is”, not “was” involved with Medjugorje –
“The Decree of the Congregation mentions that Rev. Fr. Tomislav Vlašić, a cleric of the Franciscan Minor Order – the founder of the association ‘Kraljice mira potpuno Tvoji – po Mariji k Isusu’ and who is (not was) involved in the “phenomenon Medjugorje” – has been reported to the Congregation.”
That was Aug. 31, 2008; eleven months later, July 31, 2009, The General Minister of the Franciscan Order issued further penalties, which were imposed,
“As a salutary penal precept – under the pain of excommunication which the Holy See would declare, and if necessary, without prior canonical warning – the following precepts are imposed on Mr. Tomislav Vlasic:
a) Absolute prohibition from exercising any form of apostolate (for example, promoting public or private devotion, teaching Christian doctrine, spiritual direction, participation in lay associations, etc.) as well as of acquiring and administering goods intended for pious purposes;
b) Absolute prohibition from releasing declarations on religious matters, especially regarding the “phenomenon of Medjugorje”;
c) Absolute prohibition from residing in houses of the Order of Friars Minor.
Pope Benedict XVI laicised Father Tomislav in 2009. He was also placed under the pain of ex-communication, if he should violate any of the following stipulations:
“Absolute prohibition from exercising any form of apostolate (for example, promoting public or private devotion, teaching Christian doctrine, spiritual direction, participation in lay associations, etc.)” and “Absolute prohibition from releasing declarations on religious matters, especially regarding the “phenomenon of Medjugorje” .
Habitually accustomed to disobedience, it is not surprising that Vlasic, now a layman, has chosen to ignore and disobey even these severe prohibitions. Along with Ms. Stefania Caterina, he continues to give spiritual direction, to publicly preach, to teach about Medjugorje (he built a Queen of Peace House there in 1985), to participate in lay associations and to promote private devotions as contained in at least 30 of their video products available in several languages on their video channel and contained in almost every article available on their website. Especially egregious and heretical is their promotion of alien beings and an advanced group of avatars known as the “Central Nucleus” which is a code name for the New Age realm of Shamballah:
Stefania Caterina and Tomislav Vlasic members of “Central Nucleus” with Statue of Lady of Medjugorje (Queen of Peace) in background.
From the Video:
Caterina [08:11]: “We want to tell you clearly that both Tomislav Vlašić and I belong to the Central Nucleus. We have been called to this task more than ten years ago. Of course we could not reveal it because then the Lord had to fix so many pieces in a very large mosaic, concerning not only Earth but the entire universe.”
“Jesus said clearly that it is a small number of people. We do not go over 50 in number. Indeed, we are 49 to be exact. And why? Because the Central Nucleus is divided into seven nuclei. Seven nuclei, at the head of which is one of the seven great archangels. […] [17:24] People who are part of it come from different mankinds, not only from Earth (that is, they come from other planets). Moreover, those of us who come from Earth are very few [she smiles-that makes she and Vlasic very special entities]. And they come from other mankinds of the universe. Some of them are dead.”
Vlasic [21:33]: “We can talk about some mankinds in the universe, who have remained faithful to God: they form a nucleus, all the people are a nucleus. But in this large nucleus there are many small nuclei, which move similarly to the Central Nucleus. They move, and at the same time the people provide the best nuclei for the mission in the whole universe, and these hook to the Central Nucleus. Thus, since early this year, these three instruments are working: the pure spirits, the Central Nucleus, and brothers and sisters faithful to God, who have been faithful to God from the beginning of creation.”
This is basically the esoteric Thesophy of Alice Bailey in the vernacular. Bailey devoted her life to preparing disciples to work with “ascended masters” for the good of humanity:
“The Plan for humanity requires the cooperation and service of trained and dedicated human beings intelligently informed about world affairs, in collaboration with those who form the spiritual Hierarchy, the inner government of the planet (who work with more advanced beings who govern the solar system and galaxy.
Caterina wrote about her experiences and messages she received from extra-terrestrial beings in her book “Beyond the Great Barrier“ (2008). Her experiences began in 1984, with a being named “Ashtar Sheran commander of interplanetary fleet from the planet Alpha Centauri; she also introduces her readers to Sheran’s wife, Kalna, to the priest-king Aris and others from Alpha Centauri. Odd as this might seem, Caterina boldly asserts her Catholic and Marian identity:
“I believe in God and I offer Him my life, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I am Italian and a practising Catholic. Extraordinary experiences have always been part of my life. Since childhood, God has granted me the gift of being able to communicate with Him in a special manner, by means of visions and interior locutions.”
“I believe it is my duty to obey Jesus’ wishes, bearing witness to what I was able to see and listen to. If I failed to do this, living in fear of human judgement, I would be denying the Lord and His life within me.”
These experiences have come about through interior locutions and visions, during which explanations were given to me by the Lord himself or by His instruments, first among which, Saint Raphael archangel. I received many explanations from the souls of Purgatory regarding their state, and from men of other planets regarding the universe and the life that is present within it.”
“I did not learn these things from anyone. I did not use methods, nor did I consult any books. I never contacted mediums. For me there is only one Mediator, Jesus Christ.”
Immaculate Heart of Mary, practicing Catholic, Jesus Christ, sound good, but who is this Jesus she refers to?
According to New Age theosophy, there are Seven Kohans who rule the solar system underneath a New Age Trinity which is the universal manifestation of the eternal God. These seven Kohans are known by various other names, such as: ‘the seven Spirits before the throne’, ‘the seven solar Deities’, ‘the primordial Seven’, ‘the seven Builders’, ‘the seven Manus’, ‘Flames’ or ‘Ray Lords’. It is their responsibility to direct the solar evolution of consciousness by use of the seven rays that emanate from the Trinity. Each of the seven major planets receives one of the seven rays and directs their divine influence throughout the solar system. Each of the seven rays are overseen by the seven ‘Ray Lords’ who teach disciples to walk along the Seven Paths to God.
The earth is considered a minor planet; it is the ruled by a being known as ‘Sanat Kumara’ or the ‘Ancient of Days’, ‘the One in Whom we move and live and have our being’, ‘the Light of the World’, ‘the Eternal Youth’ and ‘the God of Love’. He is the “Ancient of Days” of Judaism and Christianity, Skanda/Kartikkeya in Hinduism, Brahma-Sanam Kumar in Buddhism, the Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism etc. Sanat is considered to be the saviour of mankind and the light of the world.
Although Hinduism, Judaism et al and New Age Theosophists, like Madame Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, C.W. Leadbeater and Elizabeth Clare Prophet all have different versions of New Age cosmology (structure and development of the universe) and cosmogony (origin of the universe), New Age thinkers share a basic schema – the schema for planet earth looks something like this:
The ruler of this planet is Sanat Kumara, beneath him are a trinity of highly evolved but lesser beings, analogues to the higher solar trinity (of a higher god, the “solar logos whose body is that of the entire solar system), known as the “Buddhas of Activity” or Pratyeka Buddha’s. Along with Sanat, they receive the seven divine energies and distribute them throughout the earth to stimulate the evolution of human consciousness.
According to Alice A. Bailey, along with Sanat Kumara, they form a governing council that conducts business in a palatial room known as ‘The Council Chamber of the Lord of the World’. Here Sanat meets with Maitreya, the Ascended Masters of Ancient Wisdom such as Maha Chohan and the Master Jesus et al to assess their efforts at mind control through use the seven energy rays that pass through the air waves, what they refer to as assisting humanity to achieve higher levels of consciousness. The Great Council is also known as ‘Shamballa‘ or the “Heaven of Earth” (The New Age Dictionary, p. 172).
Shamballa, constructed by Sanat Kumara, is thought to reside on the “fourth etheric plane” of the planet earth floating above the Gobi Desert. Each planet has seven planes of existence within a spectrum that extends from pure spirit to densest matter. The etheric plane is more ethereal than the lower planes of raw matter, liquid and gas. The beings that reside on the etheric plane are highly evolved human beings who have shed their physical bodies. Together with Sanat Kumara and the Buddha’s of activity, they form a governing council that resides on Shamballa.
The Council consists of “Department Heads” who oversee three diverse yet integral departments:
First Department-Department of the Will: Overseen by a being named ‘Manu’ who works out the will and purpose of Sanat Kumara by directing the energies that effect the human will concerned with planetary government and politics
Second Department-Love and Wisdom: Overseen by the ‘Bodhisattva‘ also known as the ‘Christ‘, the ‘World Teacher’ or the ‘Lord Maitreya‘, the Teacher of mankind and of angels as well. He is the expression of love whose mission it is to develop consciousness by directing the energies that effect the religions of the world.
Third Department – Intelligence: Overseen by the ‘Mahachohan’ or Lord of Civilization who is responsible to direct the energies affecting the social and financial centers of the world
Below these three departments are seven major esoteric schools or ‘ashrams’, (the seven spoken of by Vlasic and Caterina) each led by a planetary Chohan. Under these seven major ashrams are forty-nine minor ashrams, led by Ascended Masters (the number given above by Caterina) who are working through select disciples known as ‘Masters of Wisdom’ to teach and form high ranking adepts (Vlasic and Caterina) to become ‘Masters of Wisdom’ themselves, masters who assist human beings to become more spiritual and “Christlike” (not Jesus Christ but Christ the Ascended Master who resides at Shamballa).
“The ascended masters help us become aware of the Paths back to the Source. Paths that we can walk over to master the seven rays of our Christ consciousness that emerge from the white light.”
“The seven rays present seven paths to individual or personal Christhood. Seven masters have mastered identity by walking these paths, defined as the seven archetypes of Christhood. These particular ascended masters are called the chohans of the rays, which means lords of the rays. Chohan is a Sanskrit term for lord, and lord is equivalent to law; hence the chohan is the action of the law of the ray.
To be a Cohan on one of the seven rays means that this master defines the law on that ray; through him the energy of that ray emanating from the higher “Solar Logos” flows to mankind, to all who are evolving on that particular path.
As stated by Caterina: “Jesus said clearly that it (Central Nucleus) is a small number of people.”
“We do not go over 50 in number. Indeed, we are 49 to be exact (7 in each of the seven Ashrams, thus totaling 49). And why? Because the Central Nucleus is divided into seven nuclei. Seven nuclei, at the head of which is one of the seven great archangels.”
What Caterina presents as a teaching of “Jesus” is in accord with theosophical teaching about the ashrams: Thus, according to T. Subba Row there are different types of Adepts, corresponding to the Seven Rays of the Logos:
“In the adept hierarchy, there are always seven classes of adepts, corresponding to the seven rays of the Logos.”
The adepts are advanced human beings who have put themselves into contact with, and under the influence of, more advanced Cosmic Beings, Angels and Ascended Masters who together with them constitute a ruling planetary (and solar) brotherhood:
“The Spiritual Hierarchy serving the Earth is made up of Cosmic Beings, Angels, and Ascended Masters. Ascended Masters are individuals who have attained the Victory of the Ascension (6th initiation) and are in “Heaven” (the upper Divine Octaves-Shamballa). The Great White Brotherhood, also known as the Brotherhood of Light, is made up of these, as well as their unascended disciples ( and adepts in the lower octaves (lower planes or levels).”
Without going into ever more cumbersome detail, Vlasic and Caterina have simply put New Age Theosophy into Christian terms to better communicate esotericism to Christians foolish enough to listen to them. Thus, the Cohans are called Archangels while Shamballah is referred to as the “Central Nucleus“. The Seven Cohans or Archangels are Ascended Masters who along with their 49 most advanced students form the “Central Nucleus” which are really seven “Ashrams” or esoteric schools composed of highly developed New Age disciples preparing for their next initiation.
Above the Central Nucleus is a divine being known as Sanat Kumara (Lucifer or the “Planetary Logos”). The Central Nucleus is the sacred dwelling through which the seven divine rays link the human mind and the human planet to the angelic mind of Sanat Kumara across a mystical bridge known in New Age lore as the “antahkarana” formed by prayer and meditation.
“Kumara is an”Advanced Being” at the Ninth level of initiation who is regarded as the ‘Lord’ or ‘Regent’ of Earth and of the humanity, and is thought to be the head of the Spiritual Hierarchy of Earth who dwells in Shamballah (also known as ‘The City of Enoch’)….Shamballah is a hidden land inhabited by a hidden mystic brotherhood whose members labor for the good of humanity. Alice A. Bailey claims Shamballa (her spelling) is an extra-dimensional or spiritual reality on the etheric plane, a spiritual centre where the governing deity of Earth, Sanat Kumara, dwells as the highest Avatar of the Planetary Logos of Earth, and is said to be an expression of the Will of God” (Bailey, Alice A, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire 1932 Lucis Trust. 1925, p 753).
Sanat Kumara is the founder of the Spirtual Hierarchy also known as the Great Brotherhood of Light, the Great White Lodge, or Great White Brotherhood of which, according to New Age Theosophy, Jesus is a part albeit at a lower rank of existence. As head of the Spiritual Hierarchy, Sanat Kumara is also known as the Ancient of Days. He is also one of the seven holy Kumaras who represent the seven rays on Venus. He supposedly came to the earth eons ago with a group of 144,000 spiritual beings to enlighten the earth during her darkest hours, a time when virtually all human being had turned their backs on God. Sanat long ago returned to the planet Venus. According to the ancient teachings, other Kumaras such as Guatama Buddha have also incarnated to assist humanity; Buddha was followed in succession by the Lord Maitreya and (then by) Jesus.
“When the Master Jesus took the (fourth) Crucifixion Initiation, another crisis arose of equally great import, if not greater. The crisis was brought about because simultaneously with the crucifixion of the Master, the Head of the Hierarchy, the Christ (a being higher than Jesus – Lucifer or Sanat Kumara – the so-called “Lord of this World”), took two initiations in one: the Resurrection Initiation and that of the Ascension. These are the fifth and sixth initiations, according to the Christian terminology.”
According to Alice Bailey,
“The sixth initiation marks the point of attainment of the Christ, and brings the synthetic ray of the system under His control. We need to remember that initiation gives the initiate power on the rays, and not power over the rays, for this marks a very definite difference.
Moreover, these initiations have their analogues in esoteric Freemasonry and are working their way into Catholic spirituality such as that lived and taught by Vlasic and the Queen of Peace – Medjugorje Network of New Age Marian adepts (not every Medjugorje pilgrim or even most, but those who enter Queen of Peace and Medjugorje prayer groups and cults such as Caritas in Birmingham, the Queen of Peace Network and many others that are offshoots of those formed by the rebellious friars of Medjugorje and others forming around the world):
“The question anent initiation is one that is coming more and more before the public. Before many centuries pass the old mysteries will be restored, and an inner body will exist in the Church (Caterina and Vlasic’s Central Nucleus) – the Church of the period, of which the nucleus is already forming (The Central Nucleus). The taking of the first initiation will, before so very long, be the most sacred ceremony of the Church. It will also hold a similar place in the ritual of the Masons.”
This New Age profanation of the Church, liberal interpretation of the Gospels, heretical distortion of the Holy Trinity etc. acquire perverted Marian and eschatological meaning in the context of Medjugorje: On Feb 28, 1982, the seers reported that Our Lady revealed to them that Fr. Vlasic was providing them with good direction. On this date Our Lady told the teenagers to:
On Wednesday, October 7, 1981 at a request from Fr. Tomislav,
“Should we found a community here just like that of Saint Francis of Assisi?”
The “Gospa” told the teens that the sexually active rebel priest (cited for dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, mysticism, and disobedience) was a saint:
“God has chosen Saint Francis (Vlasic) as His elected one. It would be good to imitate his life. In the meantime, we must realize what God orders us to do.”
Here Our Lady refers to Vlasic as another Saint Francis and that it would be good to imitate him. On Friday, June 3, 1983 Jakov, Vicka, and Ivanka asked the Gospa, “What do you expect of Fr. Tomislav? Has he begun well? her reply:
This seems to imply that the Gospa of Medjugorje is a New Age devotee herself.
In closing, it is necessary to make a distinction between the “seers” and their spiritual directors. It is possible that the friars and others are perverting, distorting, and corrupting the Messages while leading the children astray in order to mitigate the impact of the Virgin Mary’s messages (if it is the Virgin Mary) and appearances at Medjugorje. Father Vlasic’s New Age aberrations could be a later development that have nothing to do with Medjugorje. However, his disobedience, sexual amors, questionable bi-gender communities with the involvement of a Medjugorje seer (Marija, 1987), and his ties to a New Age seer (Caterina) who began communicating with extraterrestrial beings (fallen angels) as early as 1984, as well as Bishop Zanic’s 1984 statement in which he referred to Vlasic as a “mystifier and charismatic magician”, make this seem unlikely – in other words, at this juncture, it appears that Medjugorje is a fraud, perhaps a diabolical fraud. Nonetheless, the verdict is still out.