Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Medjugorje Commission Priest: Christian Who Bases His Faith in Apparitions is Not a Christian Adult, It's Not Mature

June 21, 2011. ( Thirty years ago, on June 24, 1981, the Virgin Mary supposedly began appearing to six young people in a small village called Medjugorje in Bosnia Herzegovina. Thus began of one of the most controversial phenomenons in recent memory that turned this tiny village into one of the most visited places in Europe. More than one million visit Medjugorje every year.

However, the Vatican has taken a cautious road and has not made any decisions on these occurrences.

Of the six visionaries, three allegedly see the Virgin Mary every day and the other three just once a year.

In order to make a decision, the pope convened a commission in March of 2010 which was tied to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and led by Cardinal Camillo Ruini. The priest Salvatore Perrella is one of its members.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Member, Commission of inquiry on Medjugorje

“The Church must verify the apparitions not because they don't believe in the possibility they exist but only to safeguard the faith, to above all protect the essence of faith. A Christian that bases his faith in apparitions, is not a Christian adult, it's not mature.”
The Vatican has several criteria for declaring that an apparition is authentic. For example, the messages can't contradict the Gospel and the magisterium of the Church and the conversions that arise should be profound.

The pope appointed 17 experts in various fields to accomplish this. One of the members is a psychiatrist because one of the most important issues is assuring the mental health of the alleged visionaries. However, this still leaves many areas to investigate.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Member, Commission of inquiry on Medjugorje

 “It's the seriousness of the visionaries, their mental health, moral, and ecclesial. Seers are normal people who are called by God to a particular life of sacrifice, renunciation, and persecution.”
Vicka Mijatovic - alleged visionary

For Salvatore Perrella each apparition is a way that God makes himself present in history and in the lives of the people. In twenty centuries of Christianity, only about two thousand cases have had some type of recognition.

Fr. Salvatore Perrella
Member, Commission of inquiry on Medjugorje

“If the Lord lets us see the truth of the apparitions that's great, but we must be sure they come from God and they haven't been built up even if they had good intentions. This is what the papal commission does. So there is still no verdict to give. We want to see if the event as explained by the visionaries, which is talked about in the media, and attracts millions to this small town, is truly from God.”
Thirty years after the first apparition of the Virgin Mary in Medjugorje there is still no clear judgment about its authenticity. It's something that the 17 experts on apparitions from this commission are investigating, but for now they prefer not to comment.

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