A priest who once served as a 'spiritual advisor' to the visionaries at Medjugorie has been dismissed by the Vatican.
Pope Benedict XVI has approved the laicization of Fr Tomislav Vlasic a year after a Vatican decree placing the former friar under investigation for 'suspicion of heresy and schism', as well as 'scandalous acts', when he had an affair with a nun.
Fr José Rodriguez Carballo, the minister general of the Franciscans, announced that Fr Vlasic had also been dismissed from the Franciscans order.
The controversial priest who had already broken with the Medjugorje seers, had defied local bishops and Franciscan superiors in setting up his own religious community.
Fr Vlasic announced that he was 'spiritual adviser' to the 'visionaries' soon after their first apparition, which took place in the town in former Yugoslavia (now Bosnia Herzovina) on 24 June 1981. Since then, they claim Our Lady has visited them 40,000 times, and they regularly issue 'messages' they say they have received from Our Lady. Although the Vatican has never recognised the shrine, the town has become a popular destination attracting more than 30 million pilgrims in the past 18 years.
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