June 25, 2015, Thursday — Negative Judgment on the Apparitions in Medjugorge?

An Italian journalist is claiming that a Vatican office yesterday rejected the authenticity of the Medjugorge apparitions of the Virgin Mary (link).

Italian Vaticanist Gianluca Barile’s report cites no named sources.

No official statement has been made by the Vatican.

However, this report is already being circulated by email on the internet.

And this is causing concern and confusion to many around the world who believed that what was taking place at Medjugorge was good and was bearing good spiritual fruit. Millions of pilgrims have visited Medjugorge since the apparitions began in 1981.

Though Barile cites no sources, it seems clear that he wrote his report based on information provided by someone who was present at the Vatican meeting yesterday to decide the case.

Barile is reporting that yesterday, June 24, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, presided over a Plenary Assembly of the Congregation to weigh a special report on the apparitions prepared over the past several years upon the specific request of Pope Benedict XVI. This meeting did occur.

Barile says the meeting concluded with a decision by the Congregation that the alleged apparitions and messages of the Madonna to the six “seers” of this small town in Bosnia-Herzegovina, who claim to have been receiving regular daily messages from the “Lady” for 34 years — beginning on June 24 in 1981 — are not authentic, do not have a supernatural cause.

“Why so much severity by the Vatican?” Barile asks. “First, for the inconsistency of the theological message; then because of the economic interests of the ‘seers’ who have invested in hotels and travel agencies.”

He says the Vatican concluded that “true visionaries had never made financial gain on their own appearances.”

However, the author notes that the “last word” still is left to Pope Francis.

Pope Francis still must issue a special decree on Medjugorge, so the matter will not be settled until that happens.

However, on June 6, Francis told reporters that the decision of the Congregation “will be communicated” when it is taken, suggesting that he would not over-rule the Congregation’s decision.

Thus, Barile writes, “it is difficult to think that the Pope might change the conclusions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.”

What would then happen to Medjugorge?

Medjugorge can still be a special “place of prayer” and pilgrimages to Medjugorje will not be forbidden, but they must not center on the alleged apparitions.

Note: For those who would like to travel with us on pilgrimage:

(1) In mid-July 2015, we will travel with a small group of Inside the Vatican readers on our annual “Urbi et Orbi” pilgrimage to Russia, Turkey and the Vatican, to visit eastern Orthodox leaders, shrines and monasteries, and to talk with Vatican officials about ecumenical relations between Catholics and Orthodox;

(2) On December 8, 2015, and again on November 20, 2016, we will be gathering in Rome to be present when Pope Francis opens the Holy Door to begin his Special Jubilee of Mercy, and when he closes the door to end the Jubilee Year. If you would like to join us on one or more of these pilgrimages, email now for more information…

We also often travel to Norcia, in central Italy, where there is a flourishing Benedictine monastery we visit.

We keep all of these pilgrimages small. Please contact us if you would like your name to be placed on a waiting list, to hold your spot.

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What is the glory of God?

“The glory of God is man alive; but the life of man is the vision of God.” —St. Irenaeus of Lyons, in the territory of France, in his great work Against All Heresies, written c. 180 A.D.

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