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Vatican confirms commission to study Medjugorje

March 17, 2010

The Vatican has confirmed the formation of a commission to investigate the reported Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, presumably leading up to a formal Vatican statement on the subject.

As was reported earlier this month, the commission will be headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the retired vicar of the Rome diocese. A March 17 statement from the Vatican press office did not name any other members of the commission, but said the group would be "made up of cardinals, bishops, specialists and experts." The commission will work under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and present its findings to that body.

The "Medjugorje phenomenon" has been a source of both enthusiasm and divisions among Catholics since 1981, when six young people in the little town-- which was then a part of Yugoslavia, now Bosnia-Herzegovina-- reported that they had received messages from the Virgin Mary. These "seers" claim that the apparitions and messages continue on a regular schedule to this day. Many thousands of Catholics have visited Medjugorje, often reporting remarkable spiritual experiences.

The local Catholic hierarchy has been skeptical, and Bishop Ratko Peric of the Mostar diocese where Medjugorje is located has strongly advised against accepting the authenticity of the apparitions. Bishop Peric was openly dismayed when Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schönborn made a New Year's visit to Medjugorje and issued statements that were taken as encouragement by the alleged seers. Cardinal Schönborn reportedly spoke to Pope Benedict XVI about his visit earlier this year, and that conversation-- along with Bishop Peric's plea for support from Rome-- may have prompted the formation of a commission to study the situation.


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  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Mar. 18, 2010 7:18 AM ET USA

    It would be good to see this--there's no other way to put it--mess made clear for the whole Church. The M phenomenon has been extremely divisive. The Mary of M has been a great deal more verbose than any authenticated apparition, and has said some things that are dubious. Let's pray that the visitors and investigators can come up with a report that most accept. We need no more schisms.