Vatican Advises U.S. Bishops About Medjugorje Apparitions
The papal nuncio to the U.S. has written a letter stating Catholics ‘are not permitted’ to participate in meetings that accept the alleged apparitions as credible.
WASHINGTON — At the direction of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the apostolic nuncio to the U.S. has written a letter stating that Catholics “are not permitted” to participate in meetings which take for granted that the supposed Marian apparitions in Medjugorje are credible.
“The Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith] has affirmed that, with regard to the credibility of the ‘apparitions’ in question, all should accept the declaration … which asserts: ‘On the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations,’” Archbishop Carlo Vigano wrote in an Oct. 21 letter to the bishops of the U.S., sent to the general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“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.”
CNA confirmed that the letter was sent to every diocese in the U.S.
Archbishop Vigano wrote the letter “at the request” of Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Oct. 21 letter was evidently following up on one sent Feb. 27.
The nuncio wrote that Archbishop Müller “wishes to inform” the U.S. bishops that Ivan Dragicevic, one of the “so-called visionaries” of Medjugorje, is scheduled to give presentations at parishes across the country and is anticipated to have more apparitions during these talks.
The visions of Medjugorje refer to a series of alleged Marian apparitions that begin in 1981 in what is now Bosnia.
In 1991, the bishops of the former Yugoslavia had determined that it is not possible to say there were Marian apparitions at the site. In 2010, the Vatican established a commission to further investigate “doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the phenomenon of Medjugorje.”
Because that commission is still in the process of its investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has established that the judgment of the Yugoslavian bishops be accepted.
“To avoid scandal and confusion,” wrote Archbishop Vigano, “Archbishop Müller asks that the bishops be informed of this matter as soon as possible.”