MAY 16/AUGUST 5, 2017
Official Medjugorje Report Released: Serious Doubts about Authenticity
Final tally offers zero votes in favor of authenticity of 35 years’ worth of alleged visions
By Christine Niles, M. St. (Oxon.), J.D., Rome, May 16, 2017
The results of the Vatican’s official investigation into Medjugorje are in — and they paint an overall negative picture of the authenticity of the alleged Marian apparitions. The final tally on authenticity of apparitions from 1982 onwards resulted in zero votes in favor, two votes against, and 12 votes claiming no opinion could be given.
The first seven apparitions, which reportedly took place in 1981, received a generally positive response, with 13 members of the Vatican commission voting yes as to their supernatural nature, one voting no, and one vote suspended.
But the second phase — which include the 35 years from 1982 to the present day — received a strongly mixed reaction, including a final tally with zero votes in favor of the supernatural nature of the apparitions.
According to Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, “the commission took note of the heavy interference caused by the conflict between the bishop and the Franciscans of the parish, as well as the fact that the apparitions, pre-announced and programmed individually for each seer, continued with repetitive messages.”
In 1999, the Franciscans who served as spiritual advisors to the children were expelled from the diocese of Mostar-Duvno by their bishop, Ratko Peric, as well as by the Father General of the Order of Friars Minor, for disobedience. The Vatican approved the joint expulsion.
In 2008, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith launched an investigation into Fr. Tomislav Vlasic, spiritual director to the child visionaries, whose bishop suspended him “for the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspicious mysticism, disobedience toward legitimately issued orders,” as well as charges of sexual immorality.
Vlasic was eventually defrocked by Pope Benedict in 2009. In 2012, Vlasic released a video promoting the New Age movement
Central Nucleus, and admits he’s been involved in this since 2002 — back when he was still spiritual advisor to the Medjugorje seers.
On this second phase of the purported apparitions, the Vatican committee voted on two separate issues: (1) spiritual fruits, and (2) the conduct of the seers. On spiritual fruits, six members voted positively, while the remaining 10 said the fruits were a mix of positive and negative.
As to the conduct of the visionaries, 12 members said no opinion could be given, while two voted against the supernatural nature of the alleged visions.
Just as significant, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in charge of overseeing the faithful diffusion of Church teaching, is expressing skepticism over the authenticity of the Medjugorje visions. In Tornielli’s words, Cdl. Gerhard Müller’s opinion is “considered an authoritative contribution to be compared with other opinions and reports.”
As critics have noted, the messages include questionable doctrinal content, including the fact that “Our Lady” regularly prays the “Our Father” with the seers — something Our Lady refused to do at the Church-approved apparition of Fatima, because it includes the line “forgive us our trespasses.” As the Church teaches, Mary is without sin, so she could not ask for forgiveness of her sins.
The Virgin also reportedly said, “All religions are equal before God” — espousing the heresy of indifferentism, explicitly condemned by the Church. She similarly remarked elsewhere, “It is you who are divided on this earth. The Muslims and the Orthodox, like the Catholics, are equal before my Son and before me, for you are all my children.”
She is also said to have offered the very protestant remark: “I do not dispose of all graces. … Jesus prefers that you address your petitions directly to him, rather than through an intermediary.”
In spite of the generally negative view of the vast majority of the Medjugorje apparitions, the Vatican must consider how to deal pastorally with the millions of pilgrims who flock to the Bosnian town each year. In this regard, 13 commission members voted in favor of lifting the ban for pilgrimages there as well as establishing the parish as a pontifical sanctuary, with oversight by the Holy See, and which would not denote any recognition of the authenticity of the apparitions.
The final decision now rests with Pope Francis, who most recently appointed Poland’s Abp. Henryk Hoser to undertake a special mission of the Holy See to “acquire more in-depth knowledge of the pastoral situation” and to “suggest any pastoral initiatives for the future.” Hoser is expected to submit his conclusions to the Holy Father this summer, after which Pope Francis will make his decision.
On Saturday, on his return flight from Fatima, Portugal, the Holy Father expressed skepticism about Medjugorje.
“The report has its doubts, but personally, I am a little worse,” he told reporters. “I prefer Our Lady as mother, our mother, and not Our Lady as head of the post office who sends a message at a stated time.”
He continued, “This isn’t Jesus’ mother. And these alleged apparitions don’t have much value. I say this as a personal opinion, but it is clear. Who thinks that Our Lady says, ‘Come, because tomorrow at this time I will give a message to that seer?’ No!”
177 readers’ comments both for and against Medjugorje
Medjugorje; the findings of the Ruini report
The report is positive on the first appearances, much less on the current ones while it proposes to turn the church into a pontifical sanctuary. Doubts from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that discussed the phenomenon in 2016
By Andrea Tornielli, Vatican City, May 16, 2017
Thirteen votes in favor of recognizing the supernatural nature of the first seven appearances in Medjugorje, one vote against and one “suspensive” ballot, which will give a final answer later. A majority of suspensive votes and many doubts instead, concerning the apparition phenomenon from the end of 1981 to today.
These are the results of the work done by the commission on Medjugorje established in 2010 by Benedict XVI and chaired by Cardinal Camillo Ruini.
Pope Francis mentioned this report in the press conference on the return flight from Fatima when he revealed the distinction between the first apparitions and the later ones, saying, “A commission of good theologians, bishops, cardinals. Good, good, good. The Ruini report is very, very good. It is well known that the signal emerged from the Pontiff’s words is positive about the spiritual fruits and the conversions (“people who go there and convert, people who meet God, who change life”), but is negative with regard to the current apparitions “I prefer Our Lady Mother, and not the head of the telegraphic office, who sends a message every day”.
A commission wanted by Ratzinger
From 17 March 2010 to 17 January 2014, a commission chaired by Ruini was set up for the will of Benedict XVI. In addition to the former chairman of the CEI, Cardinals Jozef Tomko, Vinko Puljić, Josip Bozanić, Julián Herranz and Angelo Amato took part. The psychologist Tony Anatrella, the theologians Pierangelo Sequeri, Franjo Topić, Mihály Szentmártoni and Nela Gašpar, the Mariologist Salvatore Perrella, the anthropologist Achim Schütz, the canonist David Jaeger, the speaker of the causes of the saints Zdzisław Józef Kijas, the psychologist Mijo Nikić and the official of the Doctrine of the Faith Krzysztof Nykiel.
Their task was to “collect and examine all the material” about Medjugorje and to present “a detailed report” followed by a vote on the “supernatural nature or not” of the apparitions as well as the most appropriate “pastoral solutions”. The committee met 17 times and screened all documents filed in the Vatican, the parish of Medjugorje and the archives of the secret services of the former Yugoslavia. The commission heard all the seers and witnesses involved, and in April 2012, they carried out an inspection in the village of Herzegovina.
Positive Findings on First Appearances
The commission noted a very clear difference between the beginning of the phenomenon and its following development, and therefore decided to issue two distinct votes on the two different phases: the first seven presumed appearances between June 24 and July 3, 1981, and all that happened later. Members and experts came out with 13 votes in favor of recognizing the supernatural nature of the first visions. A member voted against and an expert expressed a suspensive vote. The committee argues that the six young seers were psychically normal and were caught by surprise by the apparition, and that nothing of what they had seen was influenced by either the Franciscans of the parish or any other subjects. They showed resistance in telling what happened despite the police arrested them and death threating them. The commission also rejected the hypothesis of a demonic origin of the apparitions.
The doubts about the development of the phenomenon
With regard to the second phase of the apparitions, the commission took note of the heavy interference caused by the conflict between the bishop and the Franciscans of the parish, as well as the fact that the apparitions, pre-announced and programmed individually for each seer continued with repetitive messages. These visions continued despite the youngsters had said they would end, however that actually has never happened. There is then the issue of the “secrets” of the somewhat apocalyptic flavor that the seers claim to have been revealed from the apparition. On this second stage, the committee voted in two steps. Firstly, taking into account the spiritual fruits of Medjugorje but leaving aside the behaviors of the seers. On this point, 3 members and 3 experts say there are positive outcomes, 4 members and 3 experts say they are mixed, with a majority of positive, effects and the remaining 3 experts claim there are mixed positive and negative effects. If, in addition to the spiritual fruits, the behaviors of the seers is also taken into account, eight members and four experts believe that an opinion cannot be expressed, while two other members have voted against the supernatural nature of the phenomenon.
The Pastoral Solution
Having noted that Medjugorje’s seers have never been adequately followed on the spiritual side, along the fact that for a long time they have no longer been a group, the commission has endorsed the end of the ban on pilgrimages organized in Medjugorje. In addition, 13 members and experts out of the 14 present voted in favor of the constitution of “an authority dependent on the Holy See” in Medjugorje as well as the transformation of the parish into a pontifical sanctuary. A decision based on pastoral reasons – the care of millions of pilgrims, avoiding the formation of “parallel churches”, clarity on economic issues – which would not imply the recognition of the supernatural nature of the apparitions.
The doubts of the Doctrine of the Faith
Francis mentioned them on the airplane. The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith led by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller expressed doubts about the phenomenon and about the Ruini report, considered an authoritative contribution to be compared with other opinions and reports. In 2016 a “Feria IV”, the monthly meeting of Dicastery members, was summoned to discuss the Medjugorje case and the Ruini report. Each of the cardinals and bishops who members of the Feria IV received the text of the commission but also other material in the hands of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During the meeting, members were asked to give their opinions. However, Pope Francis, unwilling to have the Ruini report, which he esteems, to be put up for “auction”, decided that the opinions of the Feria IV members had to be sent directly to him. And that’s exactly what happened.
After examining the Ruini report and the opinions of the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Pope decided to entrust to the Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser a “special mission of the Holy See” to “acquire more in-depth knowledge of the pastoral situation “In Medjugorje, and “above all, the needs of the faithful who come to pilgrimage” to “suggest any pastoral initiatives for the future.” By summer 2017 the Polish Archbishop will deliver the results of his work with which the Pope will make a decision.
Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2017 16:06:26 +0200 (CEST)
Dear Fr. Albert,
We met in Fatima last July at the ‘Loca do Anjo’
I hereby send you my newest article about the ‘apparitions’ in Medjugorje YU
I am an expert in false ‘apparitions’, possessing 300 different files of those cases, working together with bishops and cardinals over the whole world.
If you Google on Internet with my name, Waterinckx Mark, you find articles in all languages.
I have a friend in Chennai, his name is Michael Prabhu (see email address above).
For Medjugorje I cooperated with Mgr. Peric, bishop of Mostar, with Card Müller, prefect of the CDF, with Card. Ruini, prefect of the Medjugorje commission in Rome.
Mark Waterinckx, retired professor in chemistry, Belgium
Results of Vatican Ruini-commission about Medjugorje : Comment M.W.
That NO member of the commission says that the 40.000(!) ‘apparitions’ after July 3 1981 are supernatural is O.K. But that the majority thinks that the first 7 or 10 days the ‘apparitions’ were supernatural is against all logic :
1° How can Our Lady give authentic ‘messages’ to ‘seers’ who manipulate and lie from day 11 until now, i.e. during more than 36 years???
2° The local bishops of Mostar, first Mgr. Zanic, later Mgr. Peric, did prove with facts on taperecorder that the ‘seers’ are not sincere (see website www.cbismo.com )
3° Cardinal Müller does not agree with the supernaturality of the ‘apparitions’. He is (was) prefect of the Congregation for the Defence of the Faith, who normally decides about ‘apparitions’
4° Fr. Jozo Zovko, after interrogation of all the ‘seers’ during the first days in June 1981, concluded : ” You have seen satan, not the Gospa(Our Lady in Croatian); there is no sign, no message”. These words of the curate of Medjugorje in that time have been taperecorded and are in the hands of the bishop of Mostar. I have the written text. Later on Fr. Jozo has manipulated the children. He refused their exorcism.
5° Never has an apparition been recognized by the church, when this apparition is still continuing
6° Never has an apparition been recognized by the church against the will of the local bishop
Waterinckx Mark, Bruges, Belgium, August 2, 2017
SOME RELATED FILES
MEDJUGORJE APPARITIONS ARE NOT CREDIBLE PRONOUNCES LOCAL BISHOP
QUO VADIS PAPA FRANCISCO 02-MEDJUGORJE
NORMS REGARDING THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN THE DISCERNMENT OF PRESUMED APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS
PAUL VI/CDF FEBRUARY 25, 1978 & DECEMBER 14, 2011
NORMS REGARDING THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN THE DISCERNMENT OF PRESUMED APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS 02
CDF MAY 29, 2012
PRIVATE REVELATION-RULES FOR DISCERNMENT OF PHENOMENA-FR FELIX BOURDIER
CARDINAL IVAN DIAS PROMOTES CONTROVERSIAL MARIAN APPARITIONS
Categories: False Mystics