Managing Medjugorje: Vatican Cop-Out

Managing Medjugorje: Vatican Cop-Out

THE EPONYMOUS FLOWER reports : ‘Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo and member of the Pontifical Commission of Inquiry, which is mandated to study the phenomenon of Medjugorje, said to have “recommended” to the pope to come to a decision on Medjugorje only on “administrative” aspects, but not on the “phenomena” and messages. [The messages are obviously heretical, if words can mean anything at all.]   medjugorje_map

The Virgin Mary is alleged to have regularly appeared at a parish of Medjugorje for the past 35 years to six “seers”, which is under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Mostar. Bishop Ratko Peric, like his predecessor Pavao Zanic (to 1993), regarded the Medjugorje phenomenon with great skepticism. Bishop Zanic declared as competent ecclesiastical authority that the alleged apparitions were “not supernatural” in character ( non constat de supernaturalitate ). This decision was supported and confirmed in 1991 by the Yugoslav Bishops’ Conference and still applies today.

People have “the right to go to Medjugorje to pray and do penance,” explained Cardinal Puljic in December for the Turkish state news agency Anadolu Agency (AA). Medjugorje “is one of the largest confessional benches, not only the Balkans, but in all of Europe, and that has to be somehow taken into account when deciding which one will meet”.
Cardinal Puljic therefore recommended to the Pope a decision to “solely” address the “administrative aspects”, responding in “no way to the question of appearances.” “When it comes to visions and messages, which are still under consideration, the Church does not move quickly. The Church does not hurry, but always arrives at a conclusion. I’m not worried about the attitude of the Holy Father or those of the CDF. “
Concerning the pilgrims, the Cardinal, that which has already been said applies: “It is important that the people who go to Medjugorje, pray for the strengthening of their faith and are comforted in returning home.”

 “Solomonic” or “Educational” solution?

Behind the scenes there has been a tug of war for years in the Vatican around Medjugorje. The Vatican became increasingly cautious, while some Church officials, including the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Schönborn, are convinced of the authenticity of the phenomenon. [Not exactly a vote of confidence.] Since the 80s, however, there has been a negative decision on Medjugorje. Since then, it is argued by proponents that Rome had not yet decided. A decision of Rome, however, not canonically necessary to be provided. Among the supporters of Medjugorje, there is the claim that Pope John Paul II. and the then faith Prefect of the CDF, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger have commented positively about Medjugorje, which has been denied in writing by Cardinal Ratzinger 1998.

In 2009 the CDF confirmed the jurisdiction of the Bosnian bishops and thus the negative decision of 1991.
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI. finally established a Vatican commission of inquiry to examine the phenomenon of Medjugorje and bring about the much-discussed decision in Rome. The signals emanating from the Commission were negative in the matter. At the turn of 2012, the final report was placed in front of the Pope.

Since then, a decision has been delayed by some church circles, helped along by the unexpected resignation of Benedict XVI. The Commission of Inquiry had completed its work, yet remained for another two years in office until 2014.
A postponement is argued for since it is concerned that a negative decision could unsettle many believers and shake in their faith. In fact, those in the know confirm that tension is very high among Medjugorje. The danger of divisions within the Bosnian Franciscans makes the regular rounds. An argument from experience- which is not taken lightly in Rome, confirms the reluctance of Pope Francis. Francis has expressed himself repeatedly against “an addiction to apparitions and messages.”

On 6 June 2015, the Pope had himself expressed the view of an early decision on the return flight from Sarajevo. But nothing has happened since then. At the end of June, Andrea Tornielli, the papal household vaticanist said that a decision would wait until “after the summer break”, perhaps would even be given “at the Synod of Bishops”.

An “administrative” solution has presented itself after months. A decree lays on the desk of the pope which has been formulated since the spring of 2015. Medjugorje is recognized as a place of prayer, entrusted to the pastoral care of the Franciscan Order, but is subordinated to the jurisdiction and supervision of Rome. There will be no light construction because it interferes with the rights of the Mostar diocese. Public appearances of the “seers” are also suppressed or completely prevented. As far as a non-decision on the “apparitions” and “messages” it is argued that the phenomenon is still ongoing and therefore, to make a final judgment prematurely was indeed impossible. There is talk in Rome of a “Solomonic” or “educational” solution. Source 


This is just what we expected from the Vatican,  really.  Yet another dereliction of duty.  It’s patent nonsense to say that “the phenomenon is on-going” – that’s the blankety blank problem, for goodness sake. It WILL be on-going as long as the money keeps rolling in.  Whoever said: “Medjugorje is the Devil’s answer to Fatima” was on to something.  Or perhaps you disagree? Before you say so, watch one of the “visionaries” at work in the video below…

Comments (24)

  • Who Alone Can Judge?

    It is an interesting temporary fix. However, a more definitive answer is needed.

    In terms of the video it was more like watching a “nodding head” in a TV interview, and I am baffled as to why the religious sister, right facing in the video, was not focussed on the spot of the apparition in front her, and surely the camera operator obscured the site for the “seer”.

    The facial expressions of the “seer” suggested Our Lady was doing a “good cop” and “bad cop” role in one short apparition which I find decidedly odd.

    February 1, 2016 at 1:32 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      There have been several instructions from the bishops which have been ignored, so the time is past for temporary fixes, IMHO.

      They quote Our Lady speaking heresy so the Vatican should have taken that as clear evidence that there is no truth in this phenomenon and said so, to stop more and more people being led astray by it.

      I can’t believe that any intelligent person would believe this rubbish. Millions of apparitions, supposedly, all saying the same thing. It’s a joke from start to finish.

      February 1, 2016 at 10:07 pm
      • Michaela

        The heresies are a big scandal. The fact that Our Lady supposedly denied the dogma “Extra Ecclesiam” should have been enough to make the Vatican speak out. The Pope should have condemned that heresy long ago.

        February 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm
  • RCA Victor

    “In 2009 the CDF confirmed the jurisdiction of the Bosnian bishops and thus the negative decision of 1991.”

    That being the case, why then did Pope Benedict establish a commission to examine this so-called “phenomenon”? Didn’t the establishment of that commission undercut the existing decision of the CDF, as well as the ruling and jurisdiction of the local Ordinary?

    “A postponement is argued for since it is concerned that a negative decision could unsettle many believers and shake in their faith.”

    I recall a similar argument being employed as part of the refusal to reveal the Third Secret. And here is another tragic display of disoriented logic: the condemnation of a diabolical lie would shake the faith of believers, but allowing the lie to continue will somehow, it is thus implied, reassure them! (The foundational example of this sickness being this: denying and obscuring the truth in the sacred liturgy – i.e. the NOM – will bring our “separated brethren” closer to the truth.)

    Perhaps if Medjugorje were associated with Tradition in some way, I’m sure the Pope would move with lightning speed to condemn it…..

    February 1, 2016 at 4:36 pm
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Well said. As for your concluding sentence – on the button.

      February 1, 2016 at 6:47 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I can’t believe this. The Vatican set up that Commission and now this is the result. How ridiculous this whole thing is.

    As for the so called visionary in the video – did she really need to keep her specs on?

    And I agree about the nun – she’s busy watching the visionary instead of watching to see if there was any sign of Our Lady. What a joke. The whole thing is sheer madness.

    February 1, 2016 at 10:03 pm
    • Michaela

      “As for the so called visionary in the video – did she really need to keep her specs on? ”

      LOL !

      February 1, 2016 at 10:58 pm
  • Athanasius

    One thing alone cried out the falseness of the Medjugorje business right from the start. It was the so-called seers soaking up the public attention. This single sign should have been enough for all Catholics to realise that the apparitions were at best a fabrication and at worst diabolical in origin. But no, the curious flocked in their millions for the excitement of it all, even disregarding the pronouncements of the lawful episcopal authorities in the matter, who have complete jurisdiction over the diocese of Mostar. Besides the absence of humility at Medjugorje, there has been a great display of disobedience. Neither of these evils comes from God.

    February 1, 2016 at 10:24 pm
    • Michaela

      “One thing alone cried out the falseness of the Medjugorje business right from the start. It was the so-called seers soaking up the public attention.”

      Exactly right – all the seers of approved visions avoided the limelight. This is a clear sign that this is not from God, but it’s only one of very many signs. I think the money spinning is a major sign of the devil at work, not God.

      February 1, 2016 at 10:58 pm
  • Lionel

    “It WILL be on-going as long as the money keeps rolling in” and “Medjugorje is the Devil’s answer to Fatima”
    This is exactly what I think about this scandalous so-called “phenomena”.

    February 1, 2016 at 10:50 pm
    • Michaela

      I completely concur – it’s a money spinning cult, and the longer it goes on the more damage is done to individuals being led astray and to the Church for tolerating this nonsense. It’s exactly the same problem as with the canonisation process. Both canonisations and investigations into alleged visions were thorough and were respected. Now they’re both in disrepute due to fast track canonisations and Medjugorje. If Catholics can see how ridiculous both of these are, and most especially Medjugorje, why couldn’t the Vatican Commission see it? If they do see it and just want a quiet life, then shame on them.

      February 1, 2016 at 10:56 pm
  • Prognosticum

    I have never been of the view that Medjugorje is of supernatural origin. Apart from any other consideration, an apparition lasting more than ten times longer than Our Lord’s public ministry seems to me to run contrary to the logic of faith itself.

    However, from a pastoral point of view, the Holy Father must tread very carefully. For what is very difficult to explain to the faithful–especially under the dictatorship of the mass media which hold so many in their wicked embrace–is how the phenomenon can of itself not be supernatural in origin, but give rise to the fruits of grace and conversion which are undoubtedly authentic.

    Medjugorje has been, rightly or wrongly, a destination for pilgrims for going on three decades, and there have been conversions which are nothing short of miraculous. I myself know of a case involving a young man who went there a practical atheist and came back a very committed Catholic, and for more than ten years has attended Mass every day. His conversion, which, I might add, has led to the conversion of his family, maybe many things, but it cannot be diabolical in origin since Satan is not wont to raise up soldiers for Christ.

    Good fruits from bad trees. There is an explanation for this which is, in my view, theologically coherent. But I think that it would be lost on the faithful at the present juncture. No, I think that on this occasion it would be prudent to adopt the logic of Gamaliel (“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God” [Acts 5:38–39]), not least since the apparitions are–and I cannot stress this enough–ongoing. It would be unwise, and, I think, contrary to precedent, for the Holy See to pronounce on a phemomenon of private revelation while it is still ongoing.

    I also feel obliged to point out that the article giving rise to this thread is, to say the least, tawdry. I don’t know who or what The Eponymous Flower is, but the post of Vaticanist to the Papal Household is a figment of his/her/its imagination. Andrea Tornielli is an Italian journalist working as a “Vaticanist” for La Stampa. He is also a very well known blogger.

    February 2, 2016 at 4:30 am
    • Lily

      I think if the conversions are true conversions then the people involved will accept the Church’s ruling that this is not an approved apparition site. That’s already the ruling from one bishop after another. Anybody can be touched by grace anywhere, so it doesn’t meant there is something supernatural happening because somebody converts. In fact, bishop of Mostar says there that if long queues for confession are a sign that Our Lady is appearing, then she must be appearing in every parish in the diocese! It cannot be right for the pope to fail to correct heresy and that is what he is doing by allowing this scandal to continue.

      Andrea Tornielli is a well known Italian journalist and his blog is well known too, so maybe that remark about “papal household” was just a way of emphasising his closeness to reliable sources in the Vatican. I thought the article was very good, as it gave a potted history of the phenomenon which is easy to follow.

      I’m surprised you support the argument that this phenomenon is “on-going” as the whole point is that the number of claimed apparitions is so huge that it’s making a mockery of private revelations. The pope needs to condemn this to stop people being led astray. If the conversions that happen there are real, then they won’t fall away. If they’re not real they will but that’s not a bad thing. Another consideration is that if these people claiming apparitions are not corrected and they die while these apparitions are still “on-going” where could they end up? If they are damned, then it won’t be much good to them that the pope thought it was more pastoral to leave things as they are. He’s very wrong to have missed the chance to condemn the Medjugorje phenomenon, IMHO.

      February 2, 2016 at 9:49 am
      • Edward . Fullerton

        IHMO ?.

        February 10, 2016 at 12:36 pm
    • Athanasius


      I agree that some souls have been converted after visiting Medjugorje, though you and I know that this has more to do with God bringing good from evil than confirming His pleasure over the apparitions hoax itself.

      I do not agree, however, regarding the actions of the Holy See. The local bishops, with whom lies full authority in such matters, have several times declared after investigation that nothing supernatural is occuring at Medjugorje. Therefore, Medjugorje is not, as you suggest, an on-going event. The only thing that is on-going in that place is disobedience and fraud, which should be stopped immediately.

      If these converts you speak of are true converts then they will understand such a ruling of the Holy See and accept it. If they do not, then it’s simply a case that they were never genuine converts. There are ways the Pope can denounce Medjugorje with minimum impact on the faithful, he doesn’t have to jump in with jackboots. But denounce this scandalous hoax he must, as his duty to protect Christ’s flock demands.

      February 2, 2016 at 2:48 pm
  • Lily

    I also think that the video showing Mirjana having her regular apparition shows that she is a phony. How anyone can believe this stuff is beyond me. I did notice about the specs – maybe she’s the first seer to have specs. I wear them but I can’t imagine needing them if Our Lady appeared to me! LOL!

    February 2, 2016 at 9:52 am
    • Joe

      I have been to medjugorje many times. I return with a great sense of peace, having been to confession at least once in the week, mass every day and the stations of the cross every day. I have also been to Fatima which I loved and found profoundly spiritually helpful. I came back from both with a renewed devotion to Our Lady, the Rosary and the Sacraments.

      The fruits of Medjugorje are: around 800 priestly vocations, thousands (if not millions) of confessions, Cenacolo and Mary’s Meals.

      When I read Our Lady’s messages I don’t see heresy. I see a motherly call to her children very alike in tone and content to Fatima and Lourdes.

      I understand that I will not convince anyone here that Messjugorje is true and has been a wonderful outpouring of grace. I would urge you not be too certain, too rigid, too willing to doubt.

      There are many modern miraculous tales, a lot of which I don’t believe. But Incredible saints such as St Louis de Montfort, Sr Faustina, Kolbe, Padre Pio etc have been relatively recently. Montfort said the most important saints were to come. I’m certain God is working in our times and Marian apparitions are a huge part of that.

      Until the Vatican says otherwise it would be wise to: 1) go and see for yourself (at worst you get to go to mass, confession and see an amazing part of the world) or 2) reserving your good judgement.

      If the devil did create Medjugorje to hoodwink the faithful, he must be so angry about how many people it’s led to Our Lady, the sacraments, the priesthood, the rosary and holiness.

      If it was all the devil’s idea, Our Lady is really using it against him!

      God bless us all

      February 18, 2016 at 7:35 pm
      • editor


        The Devil’s delighted. He’s hoodwinked people like the man I met after Mass last week who said that if the priest didn’t believe in Medjugorje, he wouldn’t be back.

        Nope. Medjugorje is about as true as my claims to glamour and successful dieting. Unfortunately, the mirror and the bathroom scales tell a different story, but that’s just between you and me. Keep it to yourself… 😀

        February 18, 2016 at 8:19 pm
  • westminsterfly


    You are right in one respect – you will not convince anyone who uses this blog that Medjugorje is authentic (or Messjugorje as you called it – Freudian slip?). I suspect you need to ditch the emotional response and bring other God-given faculties into play. Please read and digest the factual, proven, and ecclesiastically approved information on these sites:-

    The Bishop of Mostar’s official English site:-

    Diane Korziewski’s site (in support of legitimate authority):-

    Marco Corvaglia’s site (also in support of legitimate authority):-

    Would you really believe the ‘seer’ Ivan? In brief, what follows can be proved by documents and verified: Ivan, who is married with four children, at first contracted, on May 15, 2002, a mortgage loan for which he promised to pay $60,678 a year for 14 years, and then sold this residence for a new one in May 2004: 5,056 Sq. Ft. (land size: 13,844 Sq. Ft.) with a big swimming pool. This building is located at 5 Emily Ln Peabody, Massachusetts, USA. In this case, the loan of $800,000 was to be repaid in 6 months (it was in fact paid off in a year).

    As they say, do the maths.

    February 18, 2016 at 8:02 pm
  • Athanasius


    You took the words right out of my mouth, especially with regard to Joe getting to grips with his emotions. The money-spinner called Medjugorje has thrived on exploiting people like Joe for a lot longer than it should have. The Vatican should have moved years ago to shut that cash factory down, the “seers” being a bunch of con artists. But then, this is what happens when Catholics disregard the authoritative voice of the Church in such matters, the local bishops having been routinely ignored when they declared negatively on the apparitions of Medjugorje. And why? Because people felt good when they went there despite the supernatural rules for the discernment of spirits warning to the contrary.

    If any good has come from Medjugorje, and I do not doubt that some has, then it is due to God bringing good from evil for those less culpable in participation at that place. But that does not mean that everyone else should say let us do evil that good may come from it. Such an attitude is presumptious before God and disobedient to the lawful ecclesiastical authorities He has placed over us. Medjugorje is a fraud, end of story.

    February 18, 2016 at 8:27 pm
  • Therese

    I’m sorry to say that Medjugorje is yet another “diabolic disorientation” that it seems is fooling so many good people, a very dear friend of mine in particular. It beggars belief that so many faithful Catholics cannot recognise the heresy – at worst – and the utter banality and endless, endless repetition – at best – of the “messages”, not to mention the venality of the “seers”, especially Ivan, who is living in luxury on the monies donated by deluded souls.

    Dear Joe, where is the evidence of these 800 priestly vocations? Who says so, and where is the proof?

    February 18, 2016 at 9:33 pm
  • Joe

    You can throw all the documents and interviews you like at it. 30 million people have been there or so it is claimed. Thousands of priests have said mass there. And you seem to think that there is no possibility it could be true. Does that not smack of arrogance when the Vatican has never made a definitive statement? If it was all there to read, wouldn’t the Vatican have spoken about it yet? If it was beyond doubt, why wouldn’t they say so? Leading 30 million good Catholics astray. Wouldn’t it be top of the list of priorities? The truth is that it is not clear. It is not “proved”. It has not been denounced by the church.

    Those who believe in Medjugorje do so because they have a personal faith in it, much like those who believed the children in the early days of Fatima.

    Obviously we could all be wrong. If we are, I for one will humbly accept the Church’s teaching. Everyone I know who believes in Medj would say the same. We are Catholics after all.

    But where do you get your faith that it isn’t true? I completely understand people who are happy to wait and see what the church says. That’s logical and humble. I went because i thought if there is the possibility that is true, I should go and see for myself. I knew the church wouldn’t be able to approve it until it was finished. To find out that Our Blessed mother had been appearing years later all through my lifetime would have been hard.

    If it is so blasphemous then I wonder why it has taken the Vatican so long to say so. It doesn’t make me worried. How could the Vatican pronounce favourably until it was finished?

    With regards to the 800 vocations figure, the Fransiscan parish priest of Medj announced that when I was there in 2013. He said it was the individual priests themselves who had written to tell him. Not the most official sounding pronouncement I grant you. If we dismiss that as a fruit, look at Cenacolo and Mary’s Meals, claimed as the two clearest fruits of Medjugorje.

    February 19, 2016 at 2:46 pm
    • Athanasius


      I got this far into your comment and stopped:

      “You can throw all the documents and interviews you like at it. 30 million people have been there or so it is claimed. Thousands of priests have said mass there. And you seem to think that there is no possibility it could be true. Does that not smack of arrogance when the Vatican has never made a definitive statement?”

      The lawful authority is the local bishop, not the Vatican. It has gone to the Vatican because people refuse obedience to the local bishop, which is a great sin. Two local bishops and the Bishops’ Conference have said that nothing supernatural is happening at Medjugorje.

      These Churchmen have investigated thoroughly. They have interviewed the so-called seers, catching them out in lies in the process, and have concluded that Medjugorje is not of God.

      That may not be enough for you, for those priests you refer to, or countless others who fancy themselves Catholics, but it’s enough for me and all others who recognise the legitimate authority of the local bishop to declare in these serious matters. You and your fellow rebels are playing with fire by continued disobedience!

      February 19, 2016 at 7:29 pm
  • westminsterfly

    As I said in a previous comment on another Medjugorje thread:- The fact that Medjugorje has spawned organisations like Mary’s Meals means absolutely nothing. Even adherents of false religions form organisations to feed the poor. The vocations and the sacraments mean nothing either. Look at the many, many vocations to the Legionaries of Christ, and all the fervour of the clergy and laity in that organisation – yet it was founded on a monstrous falsehood by a perverted individual who fooled everyone – including Popes – for far more years than Medjugorje has been running – and on a global basis. Also the fact that millions have gone to Medjugorje means nothing. Billions follow false religions, but the numbers involved don’t make the religions true.

    Joe, you claim you will ‘humbly accept the Church’s teaching’ but your attitude towards the Church’s official teaching to date, as given by the local Ordinary and the Bishops’ Conference (i.e. that there is nothing supernatural in the alleged apparitions) is anything BUT humble. In fact, you dismiss this official teaching by saying ‘You can throw all the documents and interviews you like at it’ – which merely shows the sort of arrogance that you accuse me of.

    The Vatican released this statement on alleged apparitions back in 1996:- Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith states:

    1) The interpretation given by some individuals to a decision approved by Paul VI on 14th October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the “Abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books” and determined that after the relevant censures were lifted, the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals.

    2) It should be recalled however, that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, Canon 823#1 of the current Code remains in force: “the Pastors of the Church have the …. right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement”.

    3) Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    So, where Medjugorje is concerned, both the previous and current diocesan Bishop declared against it, then the Episcopal Conference supported those decisions, and now, it has gone to Rome, because of the global disobedience shown to the lawful directives of the legitimate pastors from the beginning, by people like you. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith continues to this day to try and put an end to Medjugorje events, such as this instance – taken from a pro-Medjugorje website:- but people like you continue to support this phenomenon regardless. The evidence is out there Joe. Instead of dismissing those links I gave you, I would go pay them a visit and look and learn.

    Also, read the official Church document NORMS REGARDING THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING IN THE DISCERNMENT OF PRESUMED APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS on the Vatican website. There are several things which show an alleged apparition to be false. One of them is ‘Evidence of a search for profit or gain strictly connected to the fact’ by the alleged seers, and there is PLENTY of evidence in the case of Medjugorje, of the alleged seers profiting beyond their wildest dreams. See Marco Corvaglia’s site for hard evidence:- and If you want to keep Ivan and his colleagues in the hub of luxury, that’s up to you. No-one can say you haven’t been warned.

    February 19, 2016 at 4:03 pm

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