ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - The Vatican is close to making a ruling on the alleged apparitions of the Madonna in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje, one of the most controversial cases in the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis said on Saturday.
Six children first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in the once obscure town in 1981. It has since become a major pilgrimage site, giving many a new sense of spirituality and locals a steady source of much-needed revenue.
Many others, however, believe the alleged apparitions are a hoax.
While flying back to Rome from his visit to Sarajevo, the pope was asked about the status of a Vatican investigation into the alleged apparitions, which have divided the Catholic Church.
"We are about to make decisions and then they will be communicated," he said, adding that he recently received a long study by a Vatican commission and that the case was now before the Holy See's doctrinal department, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In recent years, the town has experienced a building boom of hotels and shops catering to pilgrims.
Some of the alleged visionaries, now adults, say they still experience apparitions every day and that the Madonna has told them secrets.
The Church has so far been cautious, saying dioceses should not organize official pilgrimages to the town. But many parish groups are among the more than a million visitors a year to the site.
(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Alan Crosby)
UPDATE IV: (June 9, 2015) At this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House:
Francis warned, there are always those “who constantly need Christian identity to be renewed”, “forgetting that they were chosen, anointed,” that “they have the seal of the Holy Spirit” and they go in search of seers, asking: 'Where are the seers who can tell us exactly what message Our Lady will be sending at 4’o’clock this afternoon?' And their lives depend on this. This identity is not Christian. God’s final word is “Jesus” and nothing else.”UPDATE III:
The Vatican's English translation:
UPDATE II:Pope Francis:In regard to the issue of Medjugorje, Pope Benedict XVI at the time convened a committee presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini; there were other Cardinals, theologians and specialists on the committee as well. They did an investigation and Cardinal Ruini came to me and gave me the study they did, after many years of labour, I don’t know, maybe three of four years, more or less. They did a fine job, a fine job indeed. Cardinal Müller (Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) told me that he would be having a feria quarta (a meeting dedicated to this specific question) at the right time; I think it was done on the last Wednesday of the month. But I am not sure… We are close to coming to a decision. And then the results will be communicated. For the moment, all that is being done is to give guidelines to the bishops, but along the lines that will be taken. Thank you!
Richard Chonak's translation:
Now that I’ve seen a video clip (alas, only partial) and some other reporters’ versions of the Pope’s words, here’s a more detailed rendition:
“On the problem of Medjugorje, Pope Benedict XVI, in his time, set up a commission, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini. There were other cardinals, theologians, specialists, who made a study. Ruini came to me and presented the study, which took three or four years; they did a good job. Cardinal Gerhard Müller told me he would be doing a ‘feria quarta’ at that time: I think it took place the last Wednesday of the month, but I’m not sure. But we’re ready to make decisions, and then they’ll be stated. Only a few directives are being given to bishops about the direction we’re taking.”UPDATE:
From ANDREA TORNIELLI at La Stampa:
There is a big interest surrounding the phenomenon of the Medjugorje apparitions. What can you tells us about this?Catholic News Agency's translation (Elise Harris and Alan Holdren):
“When Benedict XVI was Pope, he set up a commission on Medjugorje that was headed by Cardinal Ruini and composed of other cardinals and theologians. They prepared a study and Ruini delivered it to me after a few years of work. They did a good job. Cardinal Müller (Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Ed.) told me that he was going to hold a dicastery meeting on this; I think it was held on the last Wednesday of the month. We are about to take some decisions and these will then be communicated. For now, bishops are just being given some indications.” - Pope Francis
Pope Francis: The problem of Medjugorje … Benedict XVI in his time created a commission presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini and there were other cardinals and theologians, specialists. They made a study and Cardinal Ruini came to me and consigned the study to me after many years. I don’t know, three or four years, more or less. They did good work, good work … and Cardinal Mueller told me that he would do a “feria quarta,” in these times, eh. (Editor’s note: “feria quarta” is a once-a-month meeting in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during which current cases are examined) I believe that it has been done the last Wednesday of last month, but I’m not sure. But, we’re at this point of making decisions … and then they will be announced… but only some guidelines will be given to bishops on the lines they will take.Links:
- Pope Francis: Don’t live your lives according to what seers tell you
- Medjugorje Ruling - "We are about to make decisions"
- Francis: The world’s powerful talk about peace and then sell weapons under the counter
- Pope talks Medjugorje, coming encyclical on return from Bosnia
- Drawing closer to a decision on Medjugorje?
- IN-FLIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FROM SARAJEVO TO ROME
- Medjugorje Restrictions Confirmed by Alleged Visionary Marija Pavlovic
- Medjugorje Warning From Archbishop Carlson
- Medjugorje - Clerics and Faithful Not Permitted to Take Credibility of "Apparitions" for Granted (CDF)
- Father George Rutler: Medjugorje cult "has become an industry from which many have made a lot of money"
- Father Mitch Pacwa: Lack of any Spiritual Depth to the Messages May be the Unraveling of Medjugorje
- Medjugorje and Authority
- Medjugorje Madness with Michael Voris & E. Michael Jones
- Medjugorje (EWTN)
- Pope Meets Head of Medjugorje Commission
- Pope Francis: "Our Lady... is not a postmaster, sending messages every day"
- Medjugorje "visionary" Vicka flinches while in "ecstasy" (video)
- Our Lady of Medjugorje?: Very Serious Counter-Signs - By Father Jay Scott Newman
- What is Happening at Medjugorje?
- Medjugorje Commission to Present Final Report by End of 2012
- Medjugorje : "The pope wants a decisive conclusion made" - Father Salvatore Perrella, CDF Expert
- Medjugorje Commission Priest: Christian Who Bases His Faith in Apparitions is Not a Christian Adult, It's Not Mature