What struck me in the article was the following:
The bishops, having set up a commission of psychiatrists, psychologists, theologians and educators, should impose silence on the pseudo-visionaries. This will be a first test: history teaches, from Lourdes to Fatima, from Guadalupe in La Salette, that those who really have the gift of being in direct contact with the Madonna, follow the directives of the local Church, even in the face of enormous sufferings. Therefore, one who will not remain silent but causes the news of these alleged apparitions to circulate freely, attracting around themselves the presence of the curious, journalists and the faithful in search of a particular grace will have already given a sign that shows the falseness of their mysticism. Mary herself, in fact, would never validate an act of disobedience against a bishop, even if they were in error.
I know this has been the tradition of recent centuries in assessing the validity of visions. It`s the kind of criterion St Teresa of Avila would set for visions: that they cannot go against the teaching of the local bishop.
However it was not always thus. One of the things that does appeal to me about Medjugorje is the idea of the Blessed Virgin intervening on the side of the Franciscans against the decrees of the local bishop. It sounds very medieval. As an example here is an extract from that hugely popular thirteenth century book of piety, The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine.
A certain parish priest, a man of upright life, knew no other Mass than the Mass of the Blessed Virgin, which he constantly chanted in her honour. Being accused thereof to the bishop, he was forthwith arraigned before him. When he avowed that he knew no other Mass, the bishop harshly upbraided him as an imposter, suspended him from his cure and forbade him to chant the said Mass hereafter. The following night the Blessed Mary appeared to the bishop, belaboured him with reproaches and demanded the reason of his ill treatment of her servant; and she further said that the bishop would die within thirty days unless he restored the priest to his office. All atremble, the bishop summoned the priest and begged his forgiveness, commanding him to celebrate no other Mass than that of the Blessed Virgin. (From the chapter on the birth of the Virgin).
It seems to me that this is where Medjugorje falls down: the Blessed Virgin should appear to the bishop and defend the visionaries. Her failure to do this is surely a weak point in the credibility of the whole thing given that she seems so willing to appear to her followers so often. However I do feel sorry for the parishioners of the parish priest in the story who enjoyed less than the fullness of the liturgical cycle!