Bosnia: “These are not real apparitions of the Blessed Virgin in Medjugorje”
On February 26, 2017, Bishop Ratko Perić, Bishop of Mostar-Duvno and Trebinje-Mrkan, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, published a letter on the subject of the Marian apparitions that have allegedly occurred in Medjugorje since 1981. This detailed, precise clarification appeared in Italian on the diocesan website, while Pope Francis appointed, on February 11, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, a “special envoy from the Holy See” for the shrine in Medjugorje, Abp. Henryk Hoser, Archbishop of Warszawa-Praga (Poland). His mission, between now and next summer, is “to gain and in-depth knowledge about the pastoral situation of this institution and above all about the needs of the faithful who travel to it on pilgrimage and, based on it, to suggest possible pastoral initiatives for the future”.
Bishop Perić mentions all the investigations conducted until now on the “Medjugorje phenomenon”: Mostar Diocesan Commission (1982-1984), the Expanded Commission (1984-1986), the Commission of the Episcopal Conference in Zagreb (1987-1990), the Commission of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican (2010-2014), and the evaluation by the same Congregation (2014-2016). “We believe that everything has been placed into the hands of the Holy Father, Pope Francis.” The position of the Curia in Mostar, Bishop Ratko Perić explains, has been clear and determined throughout this period: “This is not about real apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” He concludes his long letter by recalling the statement made by Bishop Pavao Žanić, Bishop of Mostar-Duvno from 1980 to 1993, in Medjugorje on July 25, 1987, so as to be able to declare that “Our Lady has not appeared in Medjugorje!”
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, declared on March 3 on the website of the Italian television network TGCom24 that “some have exaggerated the importance of these phenomena, as though they were almost a dogma.” And he recalled that “even if the Church makes a declaration in favor of these sorts of events, no Catholic is obliged to go there or to believe in them.”
In 2010, the historian Yves Chiron wrote a very well-documented study on Medjugorje (published by Via Romana) in which he presented for the first time in French the text of the conference given by Bishop Perić in 2004, in which the Bishop of Mostar analyzed the facts, emphasized the contradictions and recalled the judgment: “constat de non supernaturalitate” [“it is clearly not supernatural”].
(Sources: cath.ch / imedia / radiovatican / md-tm – DICI no. 351 dated March 17, 2017)