by Simon Caldwell
The Pope has begun a crackdown on the world’s largest illicit Catholic shrine – by suspending the priest at the centre of claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared more than 40,000 times. Benedict XVI has authorised ’severe cautionary and disciplinary measures’ against Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former ’spiritual director’ to six children who said Our Lady was appearing to them at Medjugorje in Bosnia.
The Franciscan priest has been suspended after he refused to cooperate into claims of scandalous sexual immorality ‘aggravated by mystical motivations’. He has also been accused of ‘the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspected mysticism and disobedience towards legitimately issued orders’, and is suspected of heresy and schism.