MEDJUGORJE, A NEW REBUFF FROM THE VATICAN FOR THE “VISIONARIES”: NO MORE TESTIMONIES IN THE PARISH
BY GIANLUCA BARILE
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, with an order signed by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has prohibited the Parish Priest, Fra Marinko Sakota and the six supposed visionaries who claim they have been seeing the “Gospa” for 34 years, from delivering testimonies or spreading the “messages” inside the Parish of Medjugorje. This is a very hard blow inflicted on the “Ministry of Propaganda” in Medjugorje, the communication-machine of the supposed visionaries, named such because it is able to send the texts of the “messages”, translated into various languages, almost instantly, to every corner of the world also thanks to the social network and innumerable devotional sites.
This is the umpteenth confirmation, after the prohibition imposed on some of the visionaries from holding public meetings in Italian dioceses, that the recognition of the supposed apparitions is proceeding towards “black smoke”. As has been already anticipated by this Blog last June, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in light of the final report drafted by the so-called “Ruini Commission” has not recognized the “apparitions” as supernatural. The Vatican ministry led by Cardinal Müller will meet within the next few weeks to formalize its assessment, it being understood that the last word will be left to Pope Francis, who in his turn, has made no mystery, even if veiled, about his skepticism about the authenticity of the Medjugore phenomena. It is however, already possible to anticipate now what the assessment of the Church is going to be. The only concession for Medjugorje will be that it is recognized as a place of prayer, as without doubt, those who go there to receive the Sacraments, do so in good faith.
Anyway, considering the “apparitions” appear to have nothing supernatural about them, the faithful will be prohibited from taking part in “the ecstasies” of the six “visionaries”, and the latter will be forbidden to divulge the texts of the messages they had [apparently] received from Our Lady. Another NO, will regard the Parish of Medjugorje itself, St. James’, which will not become a Marian Sanctuary, as the six visionaries had wanted. It is however probable that the nomination of a Pontifical Legate, who, representing the Pope, will verify respect for the rules at the place. But not only: Bishops should not welcome the “visionaries” in their dioceses for public gatherings and testimonies, as happened until only a short time ago, but limit themselves to assuring that a priest accompany the pilgrims going to Medjugorje. The pilgrims themselves, going to Medjugorje, should not recognize, with their presence, the authenticity of the “apparitions” and should avoid any contact with the “visionaries”, concentrating themselves only on prayer and reception of the Sacraments.
Yet, why so much severity from the Vatican? Primarily for the theological inconsistency of the messages, then for the economic interests of the “visionaries” who have invested in hotels and travel agencies, then for the rivalry that has divided some of them and for the disobedience shown towards both the Bishop of Mostar, (their Diocese) and the Pope, who through the “Ruini Commission” had ordered them in vain, to consign the ten secrets they had [apparently] received from the “Gospa”. One of the key-aspects that forced the Vatican to use an iron-fist is precisely that of money: true visionaries have never been seen to make a profit from their own apparitions. At this point, doubt is licit: do the six “visionaries” of Medjugorje sustain that they see and speak to Our Lady because the alleged apparitions are real or only to call the largest number of pilgrims to travel with their agencies and stay in their hotels?
[A Rorate translation by contributor Francesca Romana]