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Vatican Warns U.S. Bishops on Medjugorje

by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

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    The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has instructed the Catholic faithful not to participate in events in which the "seers" of Medjugorje promise apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of the CDF, has called for an end to church sponsorships of these events. In an October letter to the US bishops, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the apostolic nuncio in Washington, conveyed a message from Archbishop Müller, "that clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such 'apparitions' would be taken for granted.” In his message—which was addressed to Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, the general secretary of the US bishops' conference, to be distributed promptly to American hierarchy—Archbishop Vigano reminded the bishops that the CDF is currently investigating the reported apparitions at Medjugorje. Until the Vatican renders a final judgment, the CDF has asked for acceptance of a statement issued in 1991 by the bishops of what was then Yugoslavia, who said: "On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations."
  • Publisher & Date:
    Apostolic Nunciature, October 21, 2013

Received October 23, 2013
Office of the General Secretary USCCB

3339 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008-3610
October 21, 2013

Apostolic Nunciature
United States of America

PN 3980

Reverend Monsignor Jenkins,

I write at the request of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Gerhard Ludwig Muller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who asks, that the Bishops of the United States be advised, once again, of the following (cf. my letter of 27 February 2013, of the same protocol number). Thus, his Excellency wishes to inform the Bishops that one of the so-called visionaries of Medjogurje, Mr. Ivan Dragicevic, is scheduled to appear at certain parishes around the country, during which time he will make presentations regarding the phenomenon of Medjorgurje. It is anticipated, moreover, that Mr. Dragicevic will be receiving "apparitions" during these scheduled appearances.

As you are well aware, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is in the process of investigating certain doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the phenomenon of Medjogurje. For this reason, the Congregation has affirmed that, with regard to the credibility of the "apparitions" in question, all should accept the declaration, dated 10 April 1991, from the Bishops of the former Republic of Yugoslavia, which asserts: "On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions of supernatural revelations." It follows, therefore, that clerics and the faithful are not permitted to participate in meetings, conferences or public celebrations during which the credibility of such "apparitions" would be taken for granted.

In order, therefore, to avoid scandal and confusion, Archbishop Muller asks that the Bishops be informed of this matter as soon as possible.

I take this opportunity to present to you my sentiments of profound esteem, and remain,

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Carlo Maria Vigano
Apostolic Nuncio


Monsignor Ronny Jenkins
General Secretary of the USCCB
3211 Fourth Street NE
Washington, DC 20017

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