Former Medjugorje pastor laicized, dismissed from Franciscans

A former pastor who helped make the little town of Medjugorje gain international fame for a series of alleged Marian apparitions has been removed from the priesthood and dismissed from the Franciscan order. Pope Benedict XVI approved the laicization of Tomislav Vlasic a year after a Vatican decree placing the former friar under interdict because of “suspicion of heresy and schism, as well as scandalous acts contra sextum, aggravated by mystical motivations.” 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.