Medjugorje – First Time Ever Vatican to Investigate Apparition Site While Ongoing?

by admin on March 19, 2010

 

By Daniel Klimek  March 18, 2010 – http://www.ministryvalues.com

The recent announcement by the Vatican to investigate the nearly 30-year long phenomena of Medjugorje is striking. The international commission to be led by Cardinal Camillo Ruini is in many ways groundbreaking. This constitutes the first time in Church history wherein the highest office of the Holy See will investigate an ongoing apparition site. Normally, it is custom for Church authorities to wait until the reported supernatural phenomenon concludes before passing judgment on the matter. With the Church’s aggressive exception (and decision) of placing Medjugorje under an investigative commission within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it becomes clear that Vatican officials are recognizing what a significant and serious event Medjugorje is for the faithful on a global scale, no longer able to ignore its impact and influence on world Catholicism.

Professor Sandra L. Zimdars-Swartz, who has been one of the few scholars to write an academic book on modern Marian apparitions, once explained: “Of the hundreds of apparitions that have come to the attention of Roman Catholic authorities in the past two centuries, seven were investigated by diocesan commissions, were approved by the local bishop and went on to gain international attention: Rue du Bac (Paris, France, 1830), La Salette (France, 1846), Lourdes (France, 1858), Pontmain (France, 1870), Fatima (Portugal, 1917), Beauraing (Belgium, 1931-1933), and Banneux (Belgium, 1933).”

Already, by comparison, we can see what a historic recognition Medjugorje has achieved. Due to its unique status of becoming a global phenomenon, Medjugorje may become the first apparition to be approved by an international Church commission, instead of a diocesan commission, being elevated to a higher authority for judgment and solidifying its special status in Catholic affairs.  What is especially significant is that a commission under the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith was assigned to the task of investigating the apparitions. This speaks highly to Medjugorje’s importance within Vatican circles and the international community.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith is the most influential office within the Roman Curia, constituting the Pope’s right hand, so to speak. The fact that a commission was assigned under the CDF to investigate Medjugorje’s significance hints at the possibility that the decision may have come from the highest level of power, from Pope Benedict XVI himself. Interestingly, this would not be the first time that the German pontiff and the CDF provided intervention for the apparitions in Medjugorje and their investigations.   

The CDF has had a history of intervening with poorly conducted investigations on the diocesan level in Medjugorje. For years, influential Church officials in Rome have not been proud of how ineptly the events in Medjugorje have been scrutinized by certain local bishops. Therefore, even Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger himself, before becoming the current Pope, once played a crucial role in saving Medjugorje from incompetent and distorted investigations on the diocesan level, guiding the proceedings toward the more reliable hands of the Holy See.    

In April 1986, then Bishop of Mostar, Pavao Zanic, who had an infamous reputation for hostility toward the apparitions and the visionaries, frequently making slanderous and unsubstantiated remarks against them, traveled to Rome to submit the findings of an episcopal commission he led investigating the events in Medjugorje. Bishop Zanic was more than surprised when he was summoned to a meeting with Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome, then the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Ratzinger ordered Zanic to suspend his judgment on the matter, dissolve his commission, and place the inquiry into the hands of the Vatican. The CDF made sure to free Zanic and his commission from further investigative duties, recognizing that he was not the man to objectively investigate the matter. So, what inspired these influential measures?

To begin with, while Zanic’s commission was ready to pass a negative judgment, the esteemed Archbishop of Split Frane Franic, as well as the French theologian Fr. Rene Laurentin, both noted that Zanic’s commission completely ignored the findings of separate teams of French, Italian, and Yugoslav doctors.  These major teams closely examined the apparitions and found no evidence of fraud or hysteria but only signs of authenticity and moral integrity on the part of the visionaries. Neuroscience was used abundantly by these teams in studying the phenomena, tests ranging from neurological examinations to polygraphs, psychiatric tests, electrocardiogram, blood pressure and heart rhythm examinations, and electroencephalograms measuring the brain waves of the visionaries during their daily ecstasies. All of these tests supported the authenticity of the apparitions. Admittedly, Bishop Zanic’s experiments were a little less sophisticated.

One of the priests on Zanic’s commission was Fr. Nicholas Bulat. Bulat decided to personally observe an apparition and, therefore, was given a seat directly behind the visionaries in the rectory at St. James Church while the seers fell into their ecstasies and experienced their apparitions. While Bulat appeared to be praying with the visionaries, as the apparitions began he lunged himself at one of the seers, Vicka Ivankovic, and plunged a long leatherworking needle into the girl’s shoulder blade. Vicka showed absolutely no reaction to the pain, although the force of the blow pushed the seer forward. As the bleeding girl continued praying, impervious to her attacker, Bulat stabbed her a second time. Again, there was no reaction to pain while Vicka remained in her ecstasy. Moments later Bulat departed the rectory, silent and trembling at what he had experienced with his unsuccessful, barbaric tests.        

Further embarrassment surrounded Zanic’s commission after more facts were revealed about its members. Randall Sullivan, author and investigative journalist, noted that when Zanic announced the members of his commission the bishop appeared on television “to boast that the fourteen appointees were ‘all doctors of doctrine, morals, pastoral theology, and psychology.’ The Franciscans [of Medjugore] responded by observing that one of these ‘doctors of doctrine’ was a man who specializes in cataloging dogs. The main qualification for appointment to the bishop’s new commission, the friars charged, seemed to be an open hostility toward the apparitions in Medjugorje.”

It really becomes clear as to why then-Cardinal Ratzinger and the CDF had to intervene to halt these farcical investigations. Unfortunately, the open hostility that Bishop Zanic exuded toward the events and central figures of Medjugorje blurred any sense of objectivity he had in examining the phenomenon. This lack of objectivity has, regrettably, also transferred over to Zanic’s successor, Bishop Ratko Peric. Yet, as Croatian news sources and MinistryValues.com have just reported, it appears that the Holy See once again is taking action into its own hands instead of allowing any personal prejudices to disrupt a proper investigation from transpiring.

In addition to the newly formed Commission, colleague Steve Ryan reports: “Fr Lombardi [of the Vatican] stressed that the opinion of bishop Peric, who oversees the local diocese which includes Medjugorje, was no longer the authority in the final outcome of Medjugore. Cardinal Bertone in a book has insisted for some time now that the Vatican believes Bishop Peric’s views on Medjugorje are personal and are not the official word of Rome.”

What is especially noteworthy is that while the official word of Rome may finally be granted on Medjugorje, after nearly thirty years of relative silence, this would not constitute the first time that the Vatican investigates the phenomenon. Yes, as mentioned, this is the first time that an official commission led by the Church’s most esteemed office will pursue a formal investigation and, likely, offer a public ruling of its findings. But, notwithstanding, what is less known is that behind the scenes the Holy See has been curious about Medjugorje for years and, in the process, has been quietly investigating the phenomenon in Medjugorje throughout the years.

Sullivan once reported, “In late 1989, however, all six visionaries chose to cooperate with a team of physicians, psychologists, and sociologists assembled by the Vatican, and spent several weeks interrogated and tested at a monastery near Split. Though no details were released, the French-Canadian priest who headed the Vatican team offered the final paragraph of his report for publication: ‘The conclusion we draw is that the visionaries’ behavior patterns, both socio-cultural and socio-religious, do not give the least indication of any tendency to fraud, hysteria or self-deception.’”

Similarly, and perhaps even more remarkably, at the request of the Vatican the most recent examination of the apparitions was performed only a few years ago on June 25, 2005, commemorating the 24th anniversary of the apparitions. Agreeing to the Holy See’s request to be examined were the visionaries Marija Pavlovic and Ivan Dragicevic, two of the three Medjugorje visionaries who still receive daily apparitions. The investigation was led by Professor Henri Joyeaux, the internationally renowned physician and Professor of Cancerology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montpellier, and included his French team of medical experts. The final results, similarly to those conducted by the Holy See over a decade earlier, concluded that there is no element of deception or fraud whatsoever. But the visionaries were indeed experiencing something unexplainable, beyond scientific understanding, while in ecstasy.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Scott March 20, 2010 at 12:56 pm

for those who believe there is no need of proof, for those who do not believe there is no possible proof. I have never been in Medjugorje.,but i would give all i have to be there for just one day, and im absolutely sure that our Lady appears there.

Belen Macias March 22, 2010 at 12:50 am

Thank God! Let us pray that this investigation is not tampered with by the devil, and that the findings show the truth. I so long to go to Medjugorje and be that close to heaven! Thank you mother, for such great gift!

john roberts April 26, 2010 at 10:37 pm

I plan to visit Medjugorje for the 5th. time during my visit from New Zealand to the UK. 2010. I will not be wasting my time! The truth will out!!

Raul Raygoza May 9, 2010 at 2:41 am

I know, that when heaven sends a messanger, the evil one always tries to descredit and confuse the message, and it succeeds with big numbers . But in the ends God always triumphs. The important point here is not to see if the apparitions are true, but to ask one self if I am listening to Out Ladys message of saying no to sin and living a TRUE Christian lifstyle. Am I saying yes with words or am I saying yes with my actions.

peter patrick glancy campbell May 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm

i will defend medugorje apperitions ….. even till death….praise ourlady and her son jesus christ

franca dornan May 19, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Our Blessed Mother loves us with all her heart. She wants us to be in the divine embrace of her son Jesus and God. She wants us to dwell in the love of theHoly Trinity. I believe her apperances in Medjugorje are to escort us to the divine hug of God. Her appearances are a beautiful reality. I love her with all my heart!!!!

Florence Odhiambo July 21, 2010 at 7:59 am

Thank you Jesus for giving us Your Holy Mother Mary to be our mother and to intercede for us when praying to You.
O Mary conceived without sin.
Pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Maureen Sprohge July 27, 2010 at 11:19 pm

It would be prudent for the Vatican to begin the very long task of investigating Medjugorje. I wouldn’t be alive today were it not for a monumental healing of a 100% blockage in my right internal carotid artery, as well as 3 aneurysms (also in my brain), in front of numerous credible doctors and fellows at the Cleveland Clinic on First Friday of February, 2003. There are more spiritual healing, physical healings, vocations, conversions and other miracles and phenomena than at any other time in history taking place now in and because of Medjugorje. As the Bible says at the end of John’s Gospel that Jesus performed more miracles than could be written in all the books in the world – so too with Medjugorje. The study of Medjugorje will probably never end. Thank You God for allowing Our Lady to come in this way and for this long. Always in obedience to the Church, I am now a humble servant of Jesus and Mary.

Brinda Xavier July 28, 2010 at 2:35 am

Jesus you were very merciful on us. At the cross you said “this is your mother and this is your son”, Mother’s intercession is great for us. “O Mary you conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee” Amma, always watch us, guide us, guard us and protect us. Keep us and our generation healthy and holy.

Ann September 11, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I love Medjugorje, it is an amazing grace for the world. Thanks God for the new Commission.

Gerard Krouchick September 25, 2010 at 1:46 pm

It was about 7 years ago when I was taking food for the
elderly to one of our parishoners and the gentleman
asked me if I ever heard of Medjugorje and I said no.
He promptly gave me Wayne Weible’s first Book “Medjugorje
the message”. I read it and have not been the same since. It was
as if the book was talking to me. I have read it several times
since the initial reading. There is no doubt in my heart that
God touched me through reading this book and a desire to convert
followed. The big difference between me today and 7 years ago is my desire. God gave me Grace and with it the desire to follow. I thank him for that.

I am going to Medjugorje in October. For me it will be like being
in heaven.

John S. October 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I just returned from Medjugorje and I felt the presence of Our Lady every day that I was there. Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Marina October 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Please pray that I can make the pilgrimage to Medjugorje. I want to go to Our Lady and feel her presence, intercede for so many things, feel heavenly presence, and be faithful to My Mother for giving me and my husband a chance to go there. I am afraid of so many things, but I know Mother Mary will guide and protect us from the cold in November. Help us dear Mother to make a prayerful pilgrimage to your place. Help dear Mother!

Laraine soltysiak October 30, 2010 at 9:01 pm

I just returned from Medugorje for the 9th time. Our Lady has messages for our life and our world. Oh she is clearly there helping us along the way to her son. I pray that the vatican investigation finds out that the truth of Medugorje is the conversion of many souls. may God Bless all who experience the love of our Lady.

Marina November 24, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Thank you mama Mary! Both of us have just made our visit to you in Medjugorje. It was a heavenly experience. All 4 of us William, Lourdes, Concy and myself witnessed your power over nature in Medjugorje. William and Lourdes have witness the miraculours sunset, with the sun so bright and flashing, like never before and shown it to many of the pilgrims that eveing in St.James square. All gave praise to your Son. We have seen the same miraculous sun flasing back and forth, at 7.00a.m. in the morning, while making the way of the cross near the Resurrected Christ. The sun just seemed to keep flashing back and forth, for more than 7 minutes. We believe your power and Majesty will reign on this earth. We thank you. We will witness to all whom we can. Dear Mother give many of us in Qatar a chance to change lives by making the piligrimage to Mejugorje. We love you mama Mary, and through you We know your Son will be there for us.Medjugorje is beautiful even in winter. We cannot forget Medjugorje. The Adoration even though in Croatian is so powerful. We feel your presence and will start with the 5 stones you have given us. Give our children a chance to visit too.

Rogelio M Pasaylo January 2, 2011 at 4:58 am

Even though I haven’t been there yet in Medjugorje but reading through the articles makes me experience the presence with Mama Mary. The messages will be for our salvation. We love you!

Fr. Doug Binsfeld February 9, 2011 at 12:58 am

I’ve been to Medjugorje back in 1990 and was blessed with great Graces from God through our Lady’s intercession. No matter whether or not people believe or disbelieve, I know the reality of God’s Grace that I experienced there. I appreciate this article, which both confirms what I have heard in regards to the local Bishop’s bias, and it is reaffirming to me that the Holy See has done its own investigation. I owe my vocation to the priesthood to our Lady.

Bridget Hylak February 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm

not only has Medjudgorje impacted my life profoundly… but it became my life, as my husband and I met there on Easter Sunday of 1990. This October 7, 2011, we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Medjugorje’s message is pure JOY at first, and then a challenge…but a NECESSARY one… The cross we so willingly accept at first MAY become heavier, and it is just to see if we really “meant” what we said… PROFESSING our faith becomes LIVING our faith, and that is a HUGE message that I believe Medjugorje provides, and a HUGE wake-up call that many, perhaps, don’t expect. But therein lies TRUE faith, true conviction, true sacrifice… and true LOVE. Our Lady of Medjugorje, intercede for us before Your Merciful Son.

Verula Mium March 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Whatever and whenever any declaration is made as to the authenticity of the apparitions, the important thing is that all Catholics and other Christians accept the decision and continue with the job of proclaiming Jesus to the nations.

Donato June 2, 2011 at 7:41 am

I have been to Medjugorje four times and have witnessed the numerous conversions, confessions, ardent worship at Mass in many languages, and other supernatural events, such as the “miracle of the sun.” If this is the devil’s work, he has dealt himself a serious blow! In any case, it is not unusual for authentic apparition sites to be attacked or discredited. This happened both at Fatima and Lourdes too, and often enough the attackers are members of the clergy. In the end, the truth will emerge. The Vatican was wise to take the extraordinary step of removing the local bishop’s authority here. These apparitions are no doubt the most important in human history and a judgment about them must be made by an unbiased commission seeking only the truth. In one message, Our Lady said, “What I began in Fatima, I will complete in Medjugorje. My heart will triumph.” May it be so and soon!

Brinda Xavier July 8, 2011 at 4:21 am

Dear Amma,

Hope my entire family will be given a chance to make a piligrimage to Medjugorje.

Rosemary Widener July 31, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I have never been to Medjugorje either and I wish I could come. I am now very involved in getting as much info about Our Lady’s visits, and I’m sure that she has come. She did at Fatima, Lourdes, and in South America. She is trying to get to EVERYONE. We need to pray her rosary daily, and keep our hearts open and full of love for her and God. This is the beginning of a new life for me because of Medjugorje. It fills my heart with love.

christine murphy September 16, 2011 at 6:57 pm

I left the Church for a long time and was very sinful. In the last few years I have come back to the Church and have tried to pray more and attend Mass on Fridays and Adoration. I have been reading the Medjugorje website and have been so inspired. I completely believe in the apparitions. We live in scary times and the world is so materialistic most have forgotten Jesus which makes me so sad. I long to keep my faith ..O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I implore, the Grace to love you daily more and more. I say this prayer each time I feel the Devil is tempting me.

Rich October 2, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I went to Medjugorje in June of 2001. I was a believer before I went and was blown away when I was there. I experienced some spiritual phenomena that I cannot explain away (the sun looked like a lava lamp and only myself and a friend of mine smelled the scent of roses and no one else did). I also was healed from a desire to view pornography and fortune telling). I saw many lines of people 100 deep waiting for confession and masses were standing room only. The Lord has sent His Mother to this place and is working powerfully to bring those who are far away closer to God for now and eternity. I have no doubt that the visionaries are sincere an this phenomenon is real. No matter what, I will submit my belief to the Pope; whatever he declares.

Natacha Beague October 5, 2011 at 4:37 pm

The book “Pray with the heart” by Father Slavco Barbaric changed my life. Years ago I read it and received the grace of a deep conversion. I went to Medjugorje on 3 occasions and I felt like I knew Medjugorje even before going there. It completely changed my life. I discovered the love of our Blessed Mother and the beauty of Jesus hidden in the Eucharist. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St James in Medjugorje took my breath away and touched me in ways I could not explain. For the first time, during adoration at St James, I felt the sweetness of the Lord. Life has not been easy since my conversion, but our Mother’s love always rescues me and leads me back to the heart of Christ. Our Lady of Medjugorje’s tenderness is special and her messages are simply profound. I love Medjugorje. It played a pivotal role in my life and continues to do so.

Carmelina Pace December 13, 2011 at 7:14 am

Glad to read about this investigation.It will put many minds at rest.I have been twice to Medjugorie and it was a wonderful spiritual experience for me.

Carmelina Pace December 13, 2011 at 9:23 am

What a wonderful Mother we have,so keen to have us all converted to be with her in heaven when God calls us.My experience in Medjugorje was a wonderful one,especially great love for the Rosary which I repeat throughout the day for Mary’s intentions.Thank you God for the gift of Mother Mary.

mio April 19, 2012 at 6:37 am

I have been in Medjugorje for many months in Cenacolo community and as an ex addict I have no doubts about miracle of Medjugorje, for me the most special place I have ever been in. One has to go there to feel the holy presence all around.
I have to say that I like this blog really a lot.

Josephine Yos April 21, 2012 at 1:05 am

I recieved a newsletter containing stories of the apprirations in Medjugorje in 1994. The stories, messages and prayers in that newsletter completely changed my life and continues to keep my life and faith in line with God (God’s wonders reached beyond Medjugorge, how awesome!). I still have this newsletter and I carry with me anywhere I travel to. Our Lady is truely magnificent. Mary our mother will not forsake her children. The Rosary is powerful, for through the recitation of the Rosary our Lady will reveal God’s many grace. Oh loving, Oh Sweet Virgin Mary.

marcellin July 13, 2012 at 5:28 am

God’s msg at Medjugorje does not cal for doubts in doing the Will of God whether at medj or in ur own place. If some ar stl doubting, the msg is just love God the more. Avoid sins,idolatry and hv a true conversion of heart. Stick to your own faith/religion and obey your church’s doctrines and authority. For we catholics, true worship of God in spirit in accordance to scripture and our doctrines, honour n lv Holy Virgin Mary-she is great,go for sacraments,help,forgive and lv ur fellow human despite d religion and God wl reward u with heaven when u hv ran d race of salvation on d right track.

marcellin July 13, 2012 at 7:26 am

medjugorje message of our Holy mother Mary is real. The message through our mother mary is always solemn,enriched with graces,consolating,encouraging our faith,rejoicing/reassuring of God’s presence and lv to us. Let us pray as our lady has called. The rosary prayers is powerful.

Antonia Fuller May 27, 2013 at 8:52 pm

I have visited Medjugorije in 1989 and felt very sad about my country and cried. I was calmed by a peaceful balmy wind that saw me through the war that began in 1991 and destroyed Vukovar where I was born. That war took everything from every member of my family that was left after the Second World War. We had again death and suffering but I knew it would all be ok because I felt that so strong in Medjugorije. My Mom and Dad and Uncle and Aunt went there too. My dad prayed as he never did before for a peaceful death in the summer of 1989 and died in October in his sleep with his arms over his chest. My mother found him in the morning and he dies around one AM. My aunt saw a rose growing out of rock in Medjugorije. All of our faith was strenghtened as a result of that Pilgrimage. Both my aunt and mother prayed the rosary till they died and I pray it now. Fasting is my greatest challange but more and more I feel it is needed so Satan’s power is reduced.

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