Vatican Commission on Medjugorje

While only very little has leaked from the Vatican Commission on Medjugorje, four possible outcomes are in play, a major Croatian newspaper has unofficially learned. Two of them will remove the influence of the Bishop of Mostar who does not believe in the apparitions.

Two possible Vatican scenarios of the future of Medjugorje will place the parish outside of the diocese of Mostar, a major Croatian daily has learned from un-named sources.
Recognition or condemnation of the claims of apparitions is not the main focus of the Vatican Commission appointed to investigate the events of Medjugorje. The more pressing issue is the future administration of the place.
Among four possible recommendations of the Commission, two will lead to Medjugorje no longer being under the jurisdiction of Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar. In one of these options, the Vatican will assume control of Medjugorje itself. In the other, the diocese of Mostar will be split in two, the Croatian newspaper Vecernji List writes without naming sources.

“Unofficially we have been informed that the game has four options. First, status quo remains, and Medjugorje will still be under the jurisdiction of Bishop Peric of Mostar who usually argues that there has never been any apparitions in the parish” the paper sums up the first option.

“But considering that millions of pilgrims are coming to Medjugorje, this option would also acknowledge the reality: It would acquire the status of at least a place of prayer and would be required to adopt ‘rules of the game’” journalist Zarko Ivkovic further reports in Vecernji List.

One year ago, Ivkovic was the main author of the book “Misterij Medjugorja” in which unclassified documents from the Yugoslavian secret police shed new light on the early days and years of Medjugorje.

Two scenarios of new governance

Though two of the four possible recommendations involve a new ecclesiastical governance of Medjugorje, the Croatian newspaper only uses the term “very radical” about one of them:

“In the second option, the Pope would appoint his own delegates to Medjugorje, who would be responsible for the parish, and the Vatican’s decisions would be implemented on the ground through its Franciscan Commissioner. In this case, an official statute to determine the rules of action in this area would be given. The Bishop of Mostar would no longer have jurisdiction over Medjugorje.”
Today, the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno-Trebinje-Mrkan is the official name of the diocese usually referred to as Mostar. The third option changes this, to place Medjugorje in a new-established diocese, splitting in effect the diocese of Mostar in two.

Two of the four Vatican scenarios for Medjugorje cited by Vecernji List place the parish outside of its reach.
“The third option is a very radical. It envisages the establishment of the Diocese of Trebinje-Mrkan with the parish of Medjugorje as a part of it. This means that the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno will be territorially reduced, and the Pope would then appoint new bishops to Mostar, and assume jurisdiction over Medjugorje” writes Vecernji List.
“According to the fourth option, the Medjugorje phenomenon would be declared a fraud  which would then imply a ban on pilgrimages. This option is still the least likely.”

Other informations given to Vecernji List confirm previous reports that the Vatican Commission gives priority to studying the early days of the apparitions, and that Vatican officials have visited Medjugorje incognito, the latter most likely a fact since long before the Commission was formed in March 2010. Other aspects are new:
“The Commission extensively examines various documents, especially considering the events in the early days of the apparitions, and we unofficially learned that teams of experts are investigating miraculous healings. It is also interesting that the parish of Medjugorje has had incognito visits of people from the Vatican in order to determine the authenticity of the pastoral work of the Franciscans” the major Croatian newspaper writes.
Headed by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the Vatican Commission will submit its report and recommendations to The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which will take the report to Pope Benedict XVI who makes the final decision. The report is expected later this year.


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34 Responses to Vatican Commission on Medjugorje

  1. toadspittle says:

    What about:
    All Croatians are liars.

    (Maybe Jessica is onto something here.)


  2. Gertrude says:

    “Recognition or condemnation of the claims of apparitions is not the main focus of the Vatican Commission appointed to investigate the events of Medjugorje. The more pressing issue is the future administration of the place.”

    I am rather confused. I was under the (obviouvsly wrong) impression that the whole purpose of the Medjugorje investigation was purely to establish the authencity or not of the apparitions and therefore if it was an acceptable pilgrim destination on a par with Fatima and Lourdes.

    If the whole thing is about administration (which I doubt) this would hardly be a subject for the Vatican to be involved in.


  3. Tim says:

    Millions of pilgrims visit Medjugorje each year. There are more fruits from Medjugorje in terms of true spiritual conversions and vocations than any other event in recent history. Yet, the status of Medjugorje as an “approved” or sanctioned pilgrimage site is ambiguous and muddy. Several past commision’s have sought to resolve the issue without completing their work. I doubt the apparitions will be judged as they are ongoing. Perhaps the first few days may be approved. Therefore, the pastoral care for millions of pilgrims with obvious benefit to the Church needs to be addressed and is very important to the Vatican and the Holy Father himself. For further reading, see


  4. toadspittle says:

    “Millions of pilgrims visit Medjugorje each year. There are more fruits from Medjugorje in terms of true spiritual conversions and vocations than any other event in recent history.”

    Tim is quite right. Bit of pragmatism here. If it works, it works.
    And it “benefits the Church”, that is to say, it makes a fortune! (for someone)
    So what does it matter if it’s “true” or not?

    If we moon around wondering whether things are “true” or not, we’ll get nowhere.


  5. JabbaPapa says:

    “Recognition or condemnation of the claims of apparitions is not the main focus of the Vatican Commission appointed to investigate the events of Medjugorje. The more pressing issue is the future administration of the place.”

    I am rather confused. I was under the (obviouvsly wrong) impression that the whole purpose of the Medjugorje investigation was purely to establish the authencity or not of the apparitions and therefore if it was an acceptable pilgrim destination on a par with Fatima and Lourdes.

    If the whole thing is about administration (which I doubt) this would hardly be a subject for the Vatican to be involved in.

    It actually makes a great deal of sense, Gertrude — the possible creation of a new diocese is very precisely of the Vatican’s special competency.

    And such a question is unrelated to the question of the veracity or otherwise of these apparitions, but it is related to the increased need for pastoral care given the huge numbers of Catholics who go on pilgrimage to that location.

    The expression “more pressing” simply relates to the more immediate practical concerns — it does not mean that those practical matters are more important than the other questions.


  6. Biltrix says:

    Reblogged this on Biltrix.


  7. Gertrude says:

    Actually JP it doesn’t make sense to me. The administration of a Diocese has always been the prerogative of the Ordinary of the diocese – i.e. the Bishop or Arch. It is most unusual for the Holy See to interfere with the administration of any Diocese unless of course the Ordinary might be promulgating actual heresy.

    In the case of the Medjugorje without approving or diapproving the validity of the ‘goings on’ there, such interference would exhibit exceedingly bad judgement in the initial appointment of the existing Ordinary, and to establish a Diocese because one didn’t like the way the adjoining Diocese handled any particular event seems ridiculous in the extreme, and one might wonder where such a decision might end?
    If it is a case of administration and facilies for the people who go there I would have thought this would be a matter at local level and not the Holy See.


  8. Tim says:

    Gertrude …you need to study more about Church administration and Vatican responsibilities. The world-wide impact of Medjugorje and lack of local authorities to complete the investigation put it into the hands of the Vatican. For a Shrine to be designated as international, it much be reviewed and approved by the Vatican. Your or anyone else’s opinion on this doesn’t matter.


  9. JabbaPapa says:

    and to establish a Diocese because one didn’t like the way the adjoining Diocese handled any particular event


    I’ve no idea where you get that idea from —

    The Pope and the Vatican have every sovereign right to handle matters relating to any particular parish according to whichever needs that they may perceive — it may be very unusual for the Holy See to take such a hands-on approach, but the situation in Medjugorje is itself most unusual, with hundreds and thousands of Catholics from far and wide congregating daily in that one small parish.

    I cannot see that this is any form of reprimand against the current Ordinary !!


  10. P Leach says:

    This was a stunt pulled by a young group of teenagers, in the light of the new of the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II on the significant (to Fatima seers) date of 13 May 1981. Remember the whole episode began in June 1981. The excuse for the Vatican not being able to give give a definitive ruling is that there is one last ‘secret’ which has not been revealed to one of the ‘seers’ obvious ploy given for use by the ‘seers’ by the defrocked clergy of the region. This ‘secret’ will never see the light of day and will only be seen for what is is when the particular ‘seer’ is dead. Incidentally have any of these ‘revelations’ been passed on to any of the subsequent Popes’ NO, of course not!!!


  11. Frere Rabit says:

    Correct in every detail, but still not mentioning the elephant in the room. when millions of faithful have visited a shrine, and stuck their holy mementoes on their bedside tables; when millions have invested time, money and emotional engagement in this local fake Marian industry; and even when the anguished Vatican discerners wring their hands in horror at the crassness of the Croatian politics; even then we cannot take twn steps back. That would disillusion the faithful.



  12. Roger says:

    I know nothing of Medjugore, but I am aware of organised pilgrimages with spiritual directors etc.. In other words tacitly ignoring whilst officially denying. The same ploy seen again and again in recent years.
    Simply this has been going on since 1981 should cause detractors to shut up. I personally don’t know and haven’t felt the need nor necessity to delve further. The one cited message I have seen “I have come to tell the world that God exist. He is the fullness of life, an to enjoy this fulness and peace you must return to God”
    Basically taking this one message it would be suicidal to deny this by a man of God! because it would mean he was denying God!
    What concerns me in many of these Blogs is the lack of understanding that the Papacy itself was conferred by Our Lord after His resurrection. In other words we have a private appearance to St Peter and His word that he was made Pope!
    The Bible is replete with private apparations and messages such as the Annuciation. Yet private revelations in Our Day are scorned and denied!
    The existence of the supernatural and Prophecy is the essential core of a belief in an unseen Heaven and Hell.


  13. Roger says:

    Frere Rabit
    The fake Marian industry started within the Mosaic Jewish period when the awaited the Virgin who would concieve! Next we have the Virgin Birth (just so we understand this Birth NOT subject to the Anathema on Eve and therefor painless) the Shroud has no belly button, so what about the umbilical cord?
    It is God that chose Mary as daughter, mother and spouse and She alone of her species is without Original Sin. Satan has never never had Authority over Our Lady. She at the foot of the Cross offered Her only Son , never never forget what you owe to Our Lady. No Mary No Christ!! Think.
    Marian isn’t Fake neither does it detract from Our Lord for the record. On the contrary the Holy Ghost tells Us that her Soul (Mary’s) magnifies the Lord. In other words if you wish to magnify Our Lord honour His Mother. His Flesh and Blood came from the Flesh of His Immaculate Mother. Think of this and the Eucharist, meditate and learn.
    If there is one thing that I personally object to its any imprecation against the mother Of God. I am English and England is her Dowry. Incidently the Dowry title was confirmed by Pope Leo XIII.


  14. Frere Rabit says:

    Roger, since you address your lecture on Mary to me, please note that I have visited most Marian shrines in Europe as a pilgrim, including Medjugorgje in its early days; but I don’t want to get into some silly competition about who is the keenest supporter of Mary. My comments – if you would take care to read them – were about the difficulties of the Vatican’s task of discerning authenticity.


  15. Roger says:

    Frere Rabit
    It isn’t the Vatican’s Job.
    In God’s hierachy the responsibility is with the Ordinary. The Bishop whose See it is. This is how Free Will works and the flock are to be shepharded. It is the Authorit of the other Apostles. Each given Authority from God.
    In approving Akita you see precisely this process. The Bishop is consecrated as a successor of the Apostles. Cardinals may or may not be Bishops because the Cardinalate isn’t a Sacrament. An Archbishop for instance is a title but again no greater than a Bishop.
    The Papacy must be a Bishop otherwise he wouldn’t have the Apostolic Succession and what is confered by Our Lord in the Papacy has been called the Eight Sacarment. Part of the problem actually is whether the Novus Rites (not just the Mass) are licit. Tradition includes the Apostolic Succession so attacks on tradition are attacks on the foundation of the Church!
    It is the responsiblity and Authority of the Ordinary and this is before God.
    Our Lord expressly said about the role of the Angels (look at Gabriel). God delegates and works through a hierachiy.


  16. Roger says:

    The Pope’s Job is to PUT CHRIST FIRST and look after the Flock. Christ first not Mecca or the Chief Rabbi or Obama or Putin or any Man. Christ first. Lovest thou me more than the rest?
    The Ordinary is responsible before God for the flock entrusted to him. He again can’t delegate. Apparations do not happen randomly these Fall under the Authority of the Bishop entrusted with that See.
    The Vatican is Not a Central Government that is not how the Church works. Now the presence of Masons in the Curia in Disobedience to Anthema reveals a rebellion at the highest level and this is the problem that is being swept uner the carpet.


  17. Frere Rabit says:

    Quite simple in that case, Roger. The Bishops of Mostar have consistently said that Medjugorje is a scam.


  18. Roger says:

    And I haven’t been there! Yes it is His decision because he is responsible before God for His See! The Bishops are also responsible for the priests and flock under them. But then if masonry was and is ignored in the Curia and these are immediately under the Popes Authority then what message is being put out? disobedience cascades down does it not?
    Tradition is so much more than Rites its one of the two pillars the Faith is built upon. Tradition pertains to Obedience to Christ and what He taught the Apostles.
    Then we find that something as basic is Hell is obscured or that Fatima is treated as a matter of personal preference. We are then discovering that actually the confusion extends to the Core of the Catholic Faith itself. If we are not United in the True Faith but actually are bending over backwards to false Faiths then we are clearly not following St Peter and the Apostles who obeyed Our Lord. Masonry is about the equality of All Religions! Truth and False mixed together which is what pagan Rome implemented. We have to follow Our Lord , True God an True Man.
    Rabit peace and goodness. Its not personal its about getting to the basics of the Faith like a child objecting to the PR and standing up for Our beautiful Faith.


  19. Frere Rabit says:

    Yes of course, a masonic scenario that I had not noticed. The bishop of Mostar may have denounced Medjugorje as a scam, but some bishops are masons. Until we know he isn’t, we should assume he is, so we cannot take his authority seriously. Stunning. I defer to your logic and I have no further opinions to put forward.

    Powerful stuff.


  20. Roger says:

    Frere I did not accuse the Bishop of Mostar of being a mason.
    But starting with Clement XII in 1738 and going fowards Pope after Pope has expressly condemned Masonry.Pope Pius XII personally set up and authorised the study of eccesiastical FreeMasonry. Unless you know this you are ill prepared for understanding the world today, nor understand the deliberate exclusion of Christ from the Laws of this world.
    During the 60’s a list of Vatican Curia Masons was published, senior Curia including Pope Paul VI Secretary of State. Unless you understand that the State – Religion separation is NOT Catholic at all then you will not understand Fatima. Neither will you understand Lourdes or La Salette or The Sacred Heart.
    There will be One Faith on Earth and this will happen, but its the price of this!
    St Dominic and Our Lady’s promise “with the Scapular and the Rosary One Day I Will Save The World ” (because God Wills that Satan’s Head be crushed by a Creature, Mary!) . So the presence of Masons in the Vatican are wolves in the sheepfold. The suggestion of idolatry with prayers to Our Lady is a disgrace that is totally untrue. It is God’s Holy Will that Satan is crushed by the second Eve Mary a Creature like Us but without Sin.
    The Laws being enacted (fashions) and the attempted suppression of recourse to Our Lady are against God’s Holy Will. You have 300 year of Popes to quarrel with because it is their teaching that I am citing Not my opinions!


  21. Roger says:

    Father Malachy Martin used to always say it wasn’t possible to carry out an exorcism without the Authority of the ocal Bishop. Heaven has placed that Bishop in that See and He is responsible before Heaven for this flock. An exorcism without the Bishops Authority would be against Christs Authority and wouldn’t work. Nothing new in this and if you look at Lourdes and Fatima for example you will see the same stance.
    Our Lady if Authentic always insists on Obedience to the spiritual Authority. Just understand that it is the Bishops Authority not the Vaticans.
    As regards Medjugore, I don’t know whether the Bishop is testing the water seeking a tangible proof from Heaven. Think of Our Lady Of Guadalupe and that Bishop! He could well be saying Heaven placed me here and Heaven must demonstrate that this is Heaven’s work.


  22. Frere Rabit says:

    Yes it all becomes much clearer. Thank you. Have you ever tried baked beans on toast with a sprinkling of parsley?


  23. Toad says:

    “Unless you are prepared to understand this, you are ill prepared to understand the world today,”
    Roger tells Rabit.

    This is the very same Roger who understands – no, is certain – that the world today is fewer than 8,000 years old.
    I kid you not.

    Still, it’s enormously big fun.

    All manner of apparitions are real – Fatima, Lourdes, Medjugore, Garambandal, Elvis sightings, flying saucers – to those who want, and believe, them to be real.

    And why not? They may all be “true.”
    Who knows? Not me.


  24. JabbaPapa says:

    Roger : Just understand that it is the Bishops Authority not the Vaticans

    This is an example of flawed reasoning.

    In reality, all Bishops are subjected to the Spiritual Authority of the Roman See.


  25. JabbaPapa says:

    Roger : Father Malachy Martin used to always say it wasn’t possible to carry out an exorcism without the Authority of the local Bishop

    In reality, an ad hoc exorcism, which is simply a prayer against evil and against Satan, is easily performed by any Catholic.

    You are confused — by the fact that the ordinary prayers of Exorcism can only be provided by officially recognised exorcists and Bishops, and that only these may offer such services publicly, rather than in the strictly ad hoc manner permitted to other Catholics.

    Technically, of course, an ad hoc exorcism can be prayed for by any person, living or dead, Catholic or otherwise.

    Prayers of exorcism BTW form part of every pre-baptismal Catholic Initiation, including Infant Baptism.


  26. Roger says:

    Yes with a poached egg my idea of Heaven!


  27. Frere Rabit says:

    “Yes with a poached egg my idea of Heaven!”

    Alleluia. A nine word response.


  28. Roger says:

    Its late I will come back to this. Remember that for nearly 2000 years Bishops have been left (because of lack of Communication) to be the supreme Authority in their See.
    The Bishop as a Successor of the Apostles has Gods Authority within His See.
    That Authority especially is required for formal exorcism. In a diocese there used to be sometimes still is an experienced priest who is the Authorised Exorcist. The Exorcist is of course one of the orders pertaining to the consecrated priest. We shouldn’t confuse exorcism prayers, holy water and sacramentals with the Authority of the Church in banishing demons. God is hierachical and His Authority proceeds downwards. The Pope will under God place a Bishop in See but it becomes the Bishops See and His Authority within His See is that of an Apostle.
    The Pope isn’t a greater Bishop than any other Bishop he is of course ordained and consecrated and like the other Bishops is a Successor of the Apostles. The Papacy is however a Sacramental Authority given by Christ to One Man there can never be Two Popes reigning. So this spiritual Power has to be understood because it doesn’t mean replacing the Bishops Authority. Peters Authority is constrained by the Faith as revealed to date including previous Popes and their infallibility. we look for tradition always.


  29. Jerry says:

    *** I am sorry that this post is ‘off topic ***. — Does anybody know anything about Joyful Papist, and whether she is well? Her blog went suddenly silent a few months ago


  30. golden chersonnese says:

    Jerry, I am not sure whether this is in order, but if you google crystalclearnz judy, it could be helpful.

    A bit of my cyber-sleuthing reveals she has been commenting elsewhere in the last week.


  31. The Raven says:


    I think that is someone else: Joyful has a link on her blog to her professional website.


  32. golden chersonnese says:

    I think that is, in fact, the same site as I suggested, Raven.


  33. citeaux1098 says:

    Simply put … the Church, in an official capacity, cannot pronounce judgment on Medjugorje, whether the apparitions are either of, or not, of supernatural origin, until the apparitions come to an end. Authenticating the validity of an apparition cannot occur while the alleged apparitions are ongoing — and, in the case of Medjugorje, a final judgement, for or against, will not be swift in coming even if the alleged apparitions were to come to an abrupt end tomorrow!

    The history of Marian apparitions shows that the Church moves slowly, carefully and methodically before any kind of approbation is given. Medjugorje will not be an exception.


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