Church and Religion

Medjugorje: Pope does not believe as authentic apparitions that occur every day and for so many years
John L. Allen Jr.


The famed site of Medjugorje, where devotees believe the Virgin Mary has been appearing and offering revelations since 1981, falls within the territory of the diocese of Mostar-Duvno in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Almost from the beginning, there have been tensions between the Franciscans at Medjugorje, many of whom have embraced and supported popular belief in the apparitions, and the local bishops, who have generally been more skeptical.

Bishop Ratko Peric, 62, of Mostar-Duvno recently gave an interview to his diocesan newspaper, Crkva na kamenu, which means "The Church on the Rock," about a conversation he had with Pope Benedict XVI during his late February ad limina visit. Peric indicates that Benedict shares his skeptical stance.

The following is an excerpt:

Some newspapers have written that this Pope visited Medjugorje incognito while he was a cardinal and that he is preparing to recognize Medjugorje as a shrine, etc. Did you touch upon this topic?
We did, and I wrote to and spoke with the Holy Father on it. He only laughed surprisingly. Regarding the events of Medjugorje our position is well known: not a single proof exists that these events concern supernatural apparitions and revelations. Therefore from the church's perspective no pilgrimages are allowed which would attribute any authenticity to these alleged apparitions.

The Holy Father told me: "We at the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith] always asked ourselves, how can any believer accept as authentic apparitions that occur every day and for so many years? Are they still occurring every day?"

I responded: "Every day, Holy Father, to one of the [visionaries] in Boston, to another near Milan and still another in Krehin Gradac (Herzegovina), and everything is done under the protocol of 'apparitions of Medjugorje'. Up till now there have been about 35,000 'apparitions' and there is no end in sight!"

… The numerous absurd messages, insincerities, falsehoods and disobedience associated with the events and "apparitions" of Medjugorje from the very outset, all disprove any claims of authenticity. Much pressure has been made to force the recognition of the authenticity of private revelations, yet not through convincing arguments based upon the truth, but through the self-praise of personal conversions and by statements such as one "feels good". How can this ever be taken as proof of the authenticity of apparitions?

… Finally the Holy Father said: "We at the congregation felt that priests should be of service to those faithful who seek Confession and Holy Communion, leaving out the question of the authenticity of the apparitions."

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Online, 19/04/2024 às 01:54:10h