Pope Francis on Medjugorje... Why the visions didn't get the approval of the Church (2023)

19. June 2017presented todayNo comments

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Now that the dust has settled following Pope Francis' comments on Medjugorje on his return trip from Fatima to Rome in May, where he had just canonized Jacinta and Francisco Marto, we can see if anything significant has happened. Vatican position. in Medjugorje.
The Pope was asked what he thought of "shrines" like Medjugorje and the religious fervor surrounding them. He replied that alleged apparitions like Medjugorje are not part of the regular, public magisterium of the Church.
He then said that he was aware of the issues surrounding this, but that the investigation was ongoing and that he hoped the truth would come out. He then mentioned the Ruini Commission and described the report produced as "very, very good," while saying that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) under Cardinal Mueller had expressed some "doubts" about the phenomenon. and sent all documentation, including evidence contradicting the Ruini Commission's position, to the members of the Feria Quarta CDF monthly meeting.
He then said that the Ruini report indicated that the "first appearances" should be further investigated. But speaking of alleged recent apparitions, Pope Francis said the report raised doubts that he personally would voice more strongly, in line with his earlier criticism of the idea of ​​the Virgin as head of a post office that sends messages daily.
The Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli apparently wrote a few days later how the members of the Ruini Commission had voted on Medjugorje, even though their deliberations were to be kept secret. Tornielli explained that there were "thirteen votes in favor of recognizing the supernatural nature of the first seven apparitions in Medjugorje", with one vote against and one suspended.
Thus, according to Tornielli, the majority of the commission voted to recognize the first seven visions, which took place between June 24 and 30, 1981. But with regard to all other claimed visions, referred to as the “second phase of the apparitions”, there was apparently a more mixed vote regarding the spiritual fruits of Medjugorje, depending on whether the behavior of the seers was taken into account or not.
The commission also called for an end to the ban on official diocesan and parish pilgrimages to Medjugorje; and the majority of the commission "voted for the establishment of an 'authority dependent on the Holy See' in Medjugorje and for the conversion of the parish into a papal sanctuary".
This is a pastoral decision that "would not imply any recognition of the supernatural nature of the apparitions".
The tone of Tornielli's report gives the impression that Medjugorje was approved, but in fact only seven of the alleged tens of thousands of visions that have taken place since 1981 have been given a positive majority. Regarding these visions being the "second phase of the apparitions", two commissioners apparently voted against saying they were supernatural and twelve had no opinion on them, meaning they received no votes for being supernatural in origin.
Members of the commission also stated that they believed the visionaries were "mentally normal" and that "nothing they saw was influenced by the parish Franciscans or anything else". These claims seem quite surprising given the publicly available evidence.
On May 18th, one of the commissioners, Fr. Salvatore Perrella, was interviewed by the Italian newspaper Avvenire. He said the "Commission has not made a definitive statement" but decided to distinguish between what happened at the beginning and what has happened since.
He reportedly said: “The Commission has divided the case into two segments. The first part refers to the seven first appearances, let's call it the founding core, which appeared credible. The other part, namely the continuation of the apparitions that were to be continued, left the commission at a loss".
Father Perrella also pointed out that the facts about Medjugorje are so complex "that the Pope is free to investigate further".
This suggests that the commissioners' views are far from definitive, a position supported by the Pope's comments during the onboard press conference that the early apparitions need further investigation.

An advisory body only

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So what do we do with the Commission's conclusions? First of all, it should be noted that the Ruini Commission is a purely advisory body whose task is to present its conclusions to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which then makes recommendations on Medjugorje.
Otherwise neither Andrea Tornielli nor pe. Perrella mentions the transcripts of the media's original recording tapes as the main evidence of the whole phenomenon. Has the Commission examined the transcripts, which now exist in at least three different but largely complementary printed versions? And on what grounds did the commission rule out a diabolical involvement in Medjugorje?
In order for Medjugorje to be properly understood within the Church as a whole, we need to know exactly what sources were consulted by commission members leading them to vote for a supernatural origin for the original visions.
And if the transcripts of the original tapes have not been examined by the Ruini Commission, that leaves open the possibility of such an examination in the future.
We are left with the fact that a number of very strange events were recorded during the first seven visions, as the transcripts make clear, including a smiling Virgin Mary telling the visionaries that she would remain with them as long as they lived. sought.
Also, during the first week or so of the visions, the visionaries were simply not given any messages of any significance. And indeed the vision apparently said nothing unless questioned by the visionaries, certainly a very strange procedure and one that Fr. Zovko, the pastor at the time, said: "Well, there is no news".
And there is another obstacle to believing in the supernatural nature of these first visions: the fact that two of the visionaries, Ivanka and Mirjana, originally went to Podbrdo, where the first visions took place, to smoke and listen to rock music. Music.

a deadly objection

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The biggest problem with the messages emanating from the first visions, however, is the clear evidence from the transcript that they were supposed to end on July 3rd, three days after the vision on Tuesday June 30th.
Tornielli's reporting of the Ruini Commission's views leaves us with a disturbing anomaly. If the members of the commission believe that the Blessed Virgin appeared to the visionaries on the first seven occasions from June 1981, and not later, it means that the visionaries began giving reports immediately the next day. supposed visions. This implies that Our Lady appeared to the seers fully knowing that once She stopped appearing to them they would produce more visions.
This seems to be a fatal objection to the notion that the first visions were supernatural. Given all of this, it is hard to believe that the Blessed Virgin would have really appeared to the visionaries in the first week, knowing everything that would happen in the decades that followed.

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(Video) Medjugorje - Hoax or Real? Questions & Objections.

(Donald Anthony Foley is the author of several books on Marian apparitions including Medjugorje Revisited and maintains a related website at www.theotokos.org.uk. He has also written two books on time travel and adventure for young people: details can be found here at : http://glaston-chronicles.co.uk/.)


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