Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Sarajevo and President of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina denied press reports yesterday which claim that the Vatican is creating a commission to investigate the alleged apparitions of Medjugorje.
The cardinal, who is visiting Rome to attend the plenary session of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, of which he is a member, said that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is neither preparing a document nor establishing a special commission to study the Medjugorje apparitions.
Cardinal Puljic said that the official position of the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the one expressed by the then Bishops’ Conference of Yugoslavia in April 1991.
That statement not only expressed the episcopate’s support to then-Bishop Pavao Zanic of Mostar – where the town of Medjugorje is located - but explicitly said that, “based on previous research, it cannot be affirmed that these events concerning apparitions and revelations are of supernatural nature.”
“The doctrinal issue of the Medjugorje phenomenon is resolved, but its pastoral significance must still be taken into account,” the cardinal continued.
“The Medjugorje phenomenon is not only gathering faithful from Bosnia, but from all over the world, and in places where people gather to pray, God gives his blessing. Therefore, we should carefully examine all sides of this phenomenon,” he added.
Nevertheless, he reiterated, “for the moment, everything is under the jurisdiction of the local bishops.”
“Still, at any given moment, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith could establish an International Commission in order to study the case of Medjugorje,” the cardinal remarked.
Speaking at the 2004 assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Puljic complained that the reported apparitions of Medjugorje were “becoming a source of division in the Church.” In 2006, the cardinal was involved in setting up a commission concluding that the alleged Marian apparitions were not supernatural.