BTW, The New Medjugorje Commission Is Now Official

by Jimmy Akin

in Uncategorized

It’s official.

The Holy See has announced the creation of a new commission, under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and led by retired archbishop Camillo Ruini, to investigate the reported apparitions associated with Medjugorje.

Here’s a translation of the announcement, provided by Catholic News Agency:

Under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the presidency of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, an international commission of investigation on Medjugorje has been constituted. Said Commission, composed of cardinals, bishops and experts will work in a reserved manner, subjecting the results of their studies to the authority of the Dicastery.

And here’s the original in Italian.

Details are sketchy. Fr. Federico Lombardi—the Vatican press spokesman—had little to add, though he indicated,

As the commission carries out their activities, Fr. Lombardi continued, they will decide whether or not to communicate information regarding their findings. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that it will be a “very discreet” project “given the sensitivity of the subject,” he remarked.

Speaking in Italian, he said to expect that investigations will take “a good while” to reach their completion and emphasized that the results of the commission’s activities will be submitted to the CDF, under whose mandate they are operating. The commission will only offer their technical findings to the Congregation, which in turn will “make decisions on the case.”

For now, the composition of the commission is “reserved,” as is the method they will pursue in their investigations, Fr. Lombardi said in closing.

So we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

But at the moment, I have a few questions that I’d be interested in the readers’ reactions to:

1) How long do you think we will have to wait before an announcement is made?

2) Being as objective as possible, what do you think the announcement will say?

3) What will happen to you personally if the announcement is contrary to your present view of Medjugorje?

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BillyHW March 17, 2010 at 11:31 pm

The time has come to sow the earth of Medjugorje with salt.

Nick March 18, 2010 at 4:25 am

Patience is necessary. The Church doesn’t rush. :)

Yeoman March 18, 2010 at 7:46 am

I’m very skeptical of Medjugorje, but for reasons I can’t really articulate, I wouldn’t necessarily assume a result here. It doesn’t seem like an apparition should seem like to me, and the pronouncements of the local Bishop involved seems very clear, but still, we may all be surprised. I hope that the Bishop’s views are correct, as it’ll be disturbing somehow if they’re not. I’d also be surprised, however, if even a negative finding was as clearly stated as those which have been made by t he local Bishop.
Anyhow, this causes me to want to comment on something that goes on in one of our three parish churches here. In one of the three churches, the pastor treats the apparitions as if they are undoubtedly valid. The church runs a message attributed to Our Lady every week in the bulletin. Last weekend we attended Mass at that Church (we usually go to another Church for Mass) and the Priest included something from the supposed apparitions in his sermon with no hint that there was any debate. This bothers me as it seems to suggest that there’s no doubt, and it’s being incorporated into the message of that Church. I worry about the effect of this if the apparitions are not validated, particularly upon those loyal Mass attendees there who will now be faced with a pronouncement from the Church, potentially, which is contrary to something their priest has been backing. I think a Priest ought to be a lot more careful about endorsing an apparition in this fashion when there’s so much debate, no matter what his personal views are.

bill bannon March 18, 2010 at 9:27 am

You have hit on a perennial problem within Catholicism and I believe in Catholicism as true. Yet it draws or already contains many human beings who have a radically strong need for certitude in minor details at many levels of life…. while “once saved always saved” churches draw or contain human beings whose need for certitude is more general around whether they are saved or not but that area is disturbed also in the answer they arrive at with a absolute certitude that Trent rightly rejected in that area.
Human beings are therefore too often stretching certitude into areas that are uncertain. Zealous Catholics were totally certain that to take any interest on an ordinary loan was against the natural law in 1829 and in 1830 during the reign of Pius VIII, word went out that people taking moderate interest were not to be disturbed. Economies did not change radically in one year so there was misplaced certitude by all (including Luther earlier but not including Calvin) in that area. Dominicans in the late 15th century were certain that Franciscans were taking usury in their pawn shops (montes pietatis) systemically by charging interest to cover expenses. The Fifth Lateran Council in 1516 supported the Franciscans and rejected the certitude of the Dominicans which Dominican certitude happened again but over the stretch of centuries when the Dominicans differed with Jesuits on Chinese ancestral rites and whether they were sinful or no. At first Rome agreed with the Dominicans and 3 centuries later…did not.
Certitude tends to overflow its parameters.

Nick March 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm

Contact your Bishop about the Priest’s activity. If you don’t get a reply from the Bishop within a few months, than contact the Holy See about the issue.

Tim J. March 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm

“Human beings are therefore too often stretching certitude into areas that are uncertain”
If I may piggyback a similar concern of mine…
I heard on a Catholic radio show the other day a host and his guest who were promoting some sort of upcoming conference that will take up the question of a Fifth Marian Dogma.
What bugged me a little is that both the host and guest spoke of the dogma (Mary as Co-Redemptrix) as already being manifestly obvious and only in need of a Papal rubber stamp – an official declaration. So, they kept talking only about whether the “time was right” to make the declaration of the dogma.
There even seemed to be a little genuine perplexity as to why JPII did not define the dogma. What was he waiting for?
I’d just like to see a little perspective. What if Rome doesn’t think “co-redemptrix” is precisely the right word, or thinks that the title is just superfluous?
I hate to see people rushing ahead of the Pope.

Dave Mueller March 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Tim J. – I am pretty sure that the title of Co-Redemptrix is already a teaching of the Church. It is, obviously, not an infallible teaching at this time, but I’m pretty certain it would be considered a teaching. No time to research further right now….

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