The Holy See has announced that the commission charged with investigating the alleged Marian apparitions in Medjugorje has completed its task, and will be submitting its findings to the Vatican's doctrine office.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed Jan. 18 that the international commission investigating the supposed apparitions had held its final meeting the prior day, and will submit its final report to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, emeritus vicar general of the Diocese of Rome, the commission was created by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2010, and was composed of an international panel of bishops, cardinals, theologians, and various experts who have undertaken a detailed study of the reports of the reported Marian apparitions.
The commissions were established to further investigate “certain doctrinal and disciplinary aspects of the phenomenon of Medjugorje.”
The alleged apparitions originally began June 24, 1981, when six children in the town of Medjugorje, located in what is now Bosnia, began to experience phenomena which they have claimed to be apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
According to these six “seers,” the apparitions contained a message of peace for the world, a call to conversion, prayer and fasting, as well as certain secrets surrounding events to be fulfilled in the future.
These apparitions are said to have continued almost daily since their first occurrence, with three of the original six children – who are now young adults – continuing to receive apparitions every afternoon because not all of the “secrets” intended for them have been revealed.
Originally said to have occurred on a hilltop in the town where a cross commemorating the Redemption rests, the apparitions are also said to have taken place in various other locations, including the local parish church and wherever the visionaries happen to be located during the time of Mary’s appearance.
Since their beginning, the alleged apparitions have been a source of both controversy and conversion, with many flocking to the city for pilgrimage and prayer, and some claiming to have experienced miracles at the site, while many others claim the visions are non-credible.
In April 1991, the bishops of the former Yugoslavia determined that “on the basis of the research that has been done, it is not possible to state that there were apparitions or supernatural revelations.”
On the basis of those findings, and because the commission was still in the process of its investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith directed last October 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.”