Vatican Commission on Medjugorje?

There is an interesting piece on Medjugorje over at Te Deum Laudamus to which I owe a biretta tip. o{]:¬)

It would be nice for someone who knows Croatian to verify the following translation:

15.07.2006 18:15

Holy See takes Medjugorje Phenomenon into its own hands
Author: Žarko IVKOVIĆ

The Catholic Church is establishing new commission which will review Medjugorje events. This given by Cardinal Vinko Puljic, president of the Bosnia and Hercegovina Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Sarajevo, to reporters at the end of the Bishops conference held July12-14, 2006 in Banja Luka. This announcement surprised many, because Medjugorje was not even one of the topics discussed at the meeting. Aside from that, it is well known that the Church will not take a definite position about the Medjugorje phenomenon while it is still going on, and even more well known is the position of the bishop of Mostar, who time and again has claimed that there are no apparitions of the Mother of God in his diocese.

Why, nevertheless, establish a new commission which would review the stand declared in 1991 by the bishops by which “it cannot be determined that anything supernatural is happening there”? From our information, the request for the establishment of a new commission comes from the Vatican, which can manifestly no longer close its eyes to what is happening in Medjugorje

Here is the original Croatian:

15.07.2006 18:15

Sveta Stolica preuzima međugorski fenomen u svoje ruke
Autor Žarko IVKOVIĆ

Katolička crkva osniva novu komisiju koja će ispitati meÄ‘ugorska zbivanja. Dao je to naslutiti kardinal Vinko Puljić, predsjednik Biskupske konferencije BiH, obraćajući se novinarima nakon zavrÅ¡etka zasjedanja BKBiH održanog od 12. do 14. srpnja u Banjoj Luci. Izazvao je time i veliko iznenaÄ‘enje jer MeÄ‘ugorja na dnevnom redu nije bilo. Osim toga, dobro je poznat stav Crkve da se o meÄ‘ugorskom fenomenu neće izjaÅ¡njavati dok on traje, a joÅ¡ je poznatiji stav mostarskoga biskupa, koji decidirano tvrdi da u njegovoj biskupiji nema nikakvih ukazanja Majke Božje.

ZaÅ¡to se unatoč tomu osniva nova komisija koja bi trebala preispitati stav biskupa izrečen 1991., prema kojemu se "ne može ustvrditi da je riječ o nadnaravnim ukazanjima"? Prema naÅ¡im informacijama, zahtjev za osnivanje komisije dolazi iz Vatikana, koji očito viÅ¡e ne može zatvarati oči pred onim Å¡to se dogaÄ‘a u MeÄ‘ugorju.

If this is accurate, I think this will inevitably result in a negative judgment from the Holy See.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Bishop Ratko Peric made some interesting points of view regarding Medjugorje in
    an interview from last February (2006). Here is a link to the interview:

  2. Joseph says:

    This is very good news should it prove true. Although much is made of “liberal” doctrinal dissent and “traditionalist” schism, it seems to me the larger crisis of false mysticism and pseudo-apparitions that has swept the Church in the last thirty years has gone relatively ignored.

  3. Correction:

    I believe the interview actually took place in April of this year. I mentioned
    February in my previous post because it is mentioned in the interview in regard
    to Bishop Peric’s Ad Limina visit.

  4. Diane says:

    Thanks Fr. Z.

    I would like to reiterate the request for a verification of the translation. It’s been 25 yeras since I’ve had to speak Croatian and my grammar was never that good.

    I think this may explain why it has seemed that Bishop Peric has been so energized since that ad limina visit.

    Some would wonder why some of us feel a negative judgment may be coming and it is simple. With “visionaries” still living, and “visions” ongoing, it would not be possible to “affirm” it and would seem redundant to maintain status quo because then, a commission would not be needed.

    However, if the Holy See is troubled by certain facts, such as:

    30,000+ messages
    self-promotion on the part of seers (pilgrimages with Ivan)
    “gospa” on demand – anyplace, anytime by any “seer” (such an indignity for Our Lady)

    These are just a few troubling issues.

    As I say in my blog, good fruits can be visible even in an inauthentic apparition. But good fruits can never be weighed to the exclusion of the bad fruits. The events must be judged independently of the good fruits, as well. This requires impartial, objective study – not one based on sensationalism.

    Many good people are devoted to this. After reading half of Donal Anthony Foley’s new book, “Undersatnding Medjugorje”, I am – for the first time – very, very interested in Fatima.

    I highly recommend Foley’s book if you want an objective look at the history and troubling first days of the “apparitions” and the first weeks. Many books promoting these apparitions begin with 1983 and onward, rather than the early days. Everyone knows that investigation must be done early while the evidence is fresh. Time erodes evidence. Those critical first days are what should be studied and Foley’s book does this. Once you read it, you will wonder how we ever got this far.

    Most people who disbelieve in Medjugorje that I know, are very Marian, and very orthodox. Oddly, this is shared by Medjugorje supporters. What the two groups do not share, is a belief that the Mother of God is appearing to anyone from that village.

  5. Argent says:

    Catholic News Service has filed this report: Cardinal says commission to review alleged apparitions at Medjugorje

    From the report: “The commission members have not been named yet,” Cardinal Puljic told Catholic News Service in a July 24 telephone interview. “I am awaiting suggestions from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” on theologians to appoint.

  6. My Serbo-Croat is not perfect, but a quick read indicates that the report, which is simply written, is more or less literally translated.

  7. SongSung says:

    “gospa” on demand – anyplace, anytime by any “seer” (such an indignity for Our Lady)

    Oh really, Diane? And just where did you get that false information … from Mr. Foley?? You’re not trying to confuse the uninformed here are you?

  8. Waterinckx Mark says:

    Dear SongSung,

    In all pro-Medjugorje-books you can read that the ‘seers
    have their ‘apparition’at the same hour of the day independant of the place
    where they are. Vicka in Medjugorje, Marija in Italy, and
    Ivan in Boston-USA.But sometimes they unmask themselves.
    Once Vicka was in Banneux-Belgium and at the usual time she gave a conference to 3.000 people.I was there.
    When somebody asked about her daily
    ‘extasis’, she said :” I knew I should have to come here, so I had my ‘apparition’ this morning already”.Another time Vicka was speaking with late Card. Kuharic in his palace in Zagreb.She was talking and talking and talking. And forgot the time… The Cardinal said nothing, but
    when the ‘usual time’ wasn’t respected since 5 or 10 minutes
    he warned Vicka how late it was, and… she immediately felt in ‘extasis’
    !!! How do I know this story? Because Card. Kuharic told it to a fanciscan priest of Med.And I registered this testimony on my taperecorder

  9. Tomislav says:

    Well, my _Croatian_ is good enough and I think the translation is correct.

  10. Lynn says:

    These things are so disturbing. Usually those that pick Medjugorje apart are those whoo have not ever been there. Once there, this question would not enter your mind. It is peaceful there, the song of prayer is everywhere. The priests have the gift of the Holy Spirit with inspired sermons, meditation, and prayer. Miracles of every kind are a daily experience for many. “You shall know by the fruits”.

  11. Diane says:

    HI Lynn,

    That is a common misconception.

    I lived just 20 minutes away by bus from November of 1980, before the so-called apparitions began, and remained until I left permanently in February of 1983 when illness forced me back to the US.

    Is that enough time?

    Mark Waterinckx (who comments two posts above you) had been there 24x, served as interpreter to the “seers” and to Fr. Jozo. He was a promoter.

    Is that enough time?

    All of the nice things are things you should expect at parishes right in your backyard. If anything, Medjugorje provides some evidence, that people are interested in the basics: Mass, Confession, Adoration, Prayer, Fasting, Marian Devotion, and the like.

    Also, when Our Lord said, “You shall know them by their fruits”, it is often misapplied. The fruits our Lord was speaking of are those on the actual tree being examined. In this case, the trees being examined are the “visionaries” and their associates, not the crowd that they draw.

    For example, 100,000 people showed up on August 15, 1950 for the feast of Assumption in Necedeh, Wisconsin. Does this make Necedeh authentic because so many people gathered. This was not the only time such a large gathering took place. Yet, Necedeh was condemned.

    Did those people who followed that false-apparition, with some still following today, feel “good” while they were there? Did they pray rosaries and go Mass and confession? Were there stories of conversions?

    I believe the answer to all is “yes”.

    So, what fruits then, was Our Lord talking about?

    Jesus is speaking about fruits coming from the visionaries and associates themselves. As Foley points out, any attempt to discuss negative fruits coming from the “seers” and associates, brings on accusations of uncharitableness, yet these things must be known for people, and the Church to judge as fruits.

    As Foley states: “Unless people ae informed about the nature of activities of these individuals, how can they judge whether they are true or false prophets. If somebody begins to act as a viosnary, or becomes closely associated with such a person, then they must expect to be submitted to a searching personal examination.”

    Donal Foley cites the work of Fr. Jordan Aumann, OP from the book, “Spiritual Theology”, we learn about fruits.

    Is there docility in the “seers” and associates. This goes to their irreverence with respect to the Bishops of Mostar – a point made by Henri Brincard when addressing the French Bishops.

    Another quality he lists is self-abnegation. Now, when the visionaries started to self-promote, and Franciscan associates aided them, it became very contrary to self-abnegation. Ivan’s tour schedule with paying pilgrims is probably among the most blatant pieces of evidence. The “seers” have essentially put themselves “on display” for the world – something quite the opposite seen in those affiliated with approved apparitions.

  12. Clare Krishan says:

    Re: Josephe’s “the larger crisis of false mysticism and pseudo-apparitions that has swept the Church in the last thirty years has gone relatively ignored.”
    While I agree that the phenomenon has broad appeal and is mistaken, I’m not sure its being ignored so much as there’s widespread apathy towards authentic worship. There is a real spiritual hunger in the flock for preaching that calls us to reform our lives in the light of the Word. The remedy is for the clergy to ‘revise for the test’ and re-vitalize the practise of the purgative, the illuminative and the unative way to the understanding the Christian spiritual life CELEBRATED WITH THOSE ASSEMBLED WITH THE SAVIOUR PRESENT AT MASS. While Fr. Aumann’s work in awesome, and online for those interested:
    IMHO its rather vast and too erudite for a regular lay person to tackle as a remedy for the malnourishment suffered by those drawn to Fata Morgana mirages of all kinds. Instead let me offer the fruits of a reflection by FR. SEBASTIAN VAZHAKALA, M.C. on Mother Theresa of Calcutta’s devotion to the Eucharist
    (online at Catholic Educator’s Resource Guide
    who quotes Bl. Teresa of Calcutta “…loved to distribute her ‘visiting card’ on which were written the words: >.” Wise words for this age marred by wars, perpetuating the trauma of sectarian hatred, enslaving millions in the suffering of disease and unmitigated poverty. Mary Mother of God Pray for Us.

  13. Clare Krishan says:

    oops! something gobbled Mother Theresa’s words between the angle brackets so here they are again

    …on which were written the words:
    “The fruit of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service; the fruit of service is peace. This is the way to meet Christ…”

  14. JM says:


    Thank you for posting this. I was on vacation and hadn’t seen it in Croatian papers. (The translation is a bit imprecise, but after the CNS report it’s irrelevant.)

  15. Juan T. says:

    For all those critical of Medjugorje, what is said that is critical of it?

    That the apparitions are condemned? Ahhh, that elusive condemnation!

    That she appears too much? From whence do such rules that she can’t appear “alot” proceed?

    Maybe it’s the fasting on wednesdays and fridays thats the real culprit. :-)

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