Members of Medjugorje Commission Announced

by Jimmy Akin

in Benedict XVI, Mary


The Vatican Information Service has announced that the new Medjugorje commission has had its first meeting.

The press release stating this also contains a list of the members of the commission. Here is the text, reformatted to make reading the names easier:

“The International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje met for its first session on 26 March 2010.”

“The Commission, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, His Holiness’ vicar general emeritus for the diocese of Rome, is composed of the following members: 

  • Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples;
  • Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina; 
  • Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb and vice-president of the Council of European Bishops’ Conference; 
  • Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
  • Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; 
  • Msgr. Tony Anatrella, psychoanalyst and specialist in Social Psychiatry; 
  • Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, professor of Fundamental Theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy; 
  • Fr. David Maria Jaeger, O.F.M., consultant to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; 
  • Fr. Zdzislaw Jozef Kijas, O.F.M. Conv., relator of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; 
  • Fr. Salvatore M. Perrella, O.S.M., teacher of Mariology at the Pontifical Marianum Faculty of Theology; and 
  • Fr. Achim Schutz, professor of Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical Lateran University as secretary. 
  • Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel, an officer of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith serves as additional secretary.”

“Other experts have also participated in the commission’s work: 

  • Fr. Franjo Topic, professor of Fundamental Theology in Sarajevo; 
  • Fr. Mijo Nikic, S.J., professor of Psychology and Psychology of Religion at the Philosophical and Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb, 
  • Fr. Mihaly Szentmartoni, S.J., professor of Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and 
  • Sr. Veronica Nela Gaspar, professor of Theology at Rijeka.”

“As announced previously, the work of the Commission will be carried out with the utmost reserve. Its conclusions will be submitted to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for study.”

I’m not a veteran Medjugorje watcher, so I don’t have a feel for the individuals on or working with the commission when it comes to Medjugorje.

Does anybody have thoughts on how the members lean–or if they’re all neutrals, or what?

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Rafael April 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm

This is great news. I expect that there will be some finality as this commission condems that demonic “apparition” in Mejugorje that is nothing but a sham.
All the Franciscans in the commission seem to be Rome based and has nothing to do with heretical schismatic Franciscans of Mejugorje.
Archbishop Amato is a strong conservative.
You have the cardinal from the Bishops’ Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which in the past, the then bishops of the former conference of Yugoslavia, condemned Medjugorje twice. These bishops of the local area are all against the fake seers and demonic messages.

Diane April 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm

There’s some interesting background on Archbishop Amato and Medjugorje:
1) As Secretary of the CDF, he signed the letter authorizing Bishop Peric to notify the public about the canonical status of then Fra Tomislav Vlasic, OFM, about a year before he was laicized. It was also his words that Vlasic was being investigated “in the context of the Medjugorje phenomenon”.
2) As Secretary of the CDF, Abp Amato in 2007 discussed Medjugorje with the Bishops of Tuscany . It reads as follows before going to part III of the 2006 Confirmation homily in Italian.
During the visit “ad Limina” of the Bishops of the Region of Tuscany, in the period 16/20 April 2007, we had a meeting at the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Secretary Monsignor Angelo Amato, who speaks to us of apparitions of Medjugorje, has invited us to make public the homily the Bishop of Mostar, in order to clarify the religious phenomenon linked to this site.
I would say that Archbishop Angelo Amato is well familiar with the dossier.
I had some additional info and links in my post from a couple weeks ago when Croatian media produced an “unofficial list” which I put into English. Read more here.

RC April 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Among the non-bishops, the only name I recognize is that of Fr. Jaeger, J.C.D. He’s a convert to the Faith and perhaps the only native-born Israeli priest, and has long worked in relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel, so he has plenty of experience with contentious issues and highly charged situations. From his past statements I have the impression that he’s pretty frank about saying what’s what.

Chris April 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Four Red Hats!
At least they’re not swinging a whiffle bat, whatever the conclusions that they reach.
Whatever happens, I hope that the truth is made clear, that way, if it’s in the negative, there’s no excuse for the strident advocates; if it’s in the positive (well, “non-negative” is probably more accurate regarding private revelations?) then hopefully the Church can better control and guide the advocates for Madjugorje.

Diane April 14, 2010 at 7:17 pm

There is something to be said about Cardinal Ruini, as well.
There are many phenomena that have ties to Medjugorje. One of those is known as “Civitavecchia”. The weeping statue came from Medjugorje.
A diocesan commission was formed with 11 members on April 19, 1995 and on November 22, 1996 seven of those members voted in favor of supernaturality, one voted against, and there were three abstentions.
But wait….
Several years later, the Holy See intervenes and Cardinal Ruini heads that new commission on Civitavecchia. That commission, under Ruini, returned a verdict of “non constat de supernaturalite”. Essentially it was pulled out of approval status and back into a status in which it cannot be affirmed that anything supernatural is happening (the blood from the oozing “tears” was of masculine type, not feminine!).
I know some were disappointed that Cardinal Ruini’s commission didn’t go for a full condemnation with a constat de non supernaturalite. However, I think we need to look at it another way.
With the many apparitions and other phenomena linked to Medjugorje, it could be difficult for any commission to fully discern those until the Medjugorje question is resolved.
I believe that most of these will remain in limbo until the question of Medjugorje is answered (I personally believe the Holy See will make a pronouncement on the events themselves, but the question for me is will they discourage pilgrimages as is the norm when events are condemned).
Since the alleged apparitions are ongoing with the Medjugorje visionaries, there is really no chance that an approval can be returned (anything could happen in the future to negate the phenomena which would cause scandal and embarassment for the Church). The best that supporters can hope for is to maintain status quo at the current “non constat”. However, a fully negative judgment – “constat de non” is possible while the visions are ongoing (Holy Love was condemned last year while ongoing and it was the Holy See which prompted the bishop to act).
If anyone wants to read more on Civitavecchia, Mark Waterinckx has written an article in English, referencing the work of Prof. Marco Corvaglia of Italy, who has a very detailed site on Medjugorje, including an extensive section in english.

RC April 15, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Cdl. Puljic seemed to speak about Medjugorje at the 2001 synod, where he described the rebellious Franciscans and ex-Franciscans who “try to impose their own points of view in the individual Dioceses, substituting the authentic charisms of their Institute with pseudo-charisms, a serious threat for the Church and for her organizational and doctrinal unity.”

Jerry April 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Hi, I got interested in the Catholic Church because of story Medjugorje so I join RCIA in 96 and came Catholic in 97 with the gram slam with Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Eucharist. I also went to Medjugorje and had a wonderful time and did not see any red flags go up. My experience at Medjugorje only made my love for God stronger. In fact everybody I ever met has been to Medjugorje had a great experience and grew with faith. But this is the point I like to bring out,,,if Medjugorje is proven to be fake and a big scam I am still going to be Catholic because my Faith is not base on Medjugorje at all. I know God can bring good out of Evil and are faith should never be on apparition. I went to the Holy Land a few years ago and I blew away from my experience there so maybe thats a great place to start for a pilgrimage not a place where the Church has doubts about. So I trust the Church authority over my warm fuzzy feelings I had of that place. God bless

Nick April 21, 2010 at 12:33 am

I went to Medjugorje twice, and with each visit my faith only grew stronger.
I think that Medjugorje should not be judged by heretical behavior of one or two priests that were at some point involved with it. The same has happened in Fatima (
I can only repeat Jerry’s words – if the Church condemns Medjugorje, that changes nothing for me; I am Catholic because Jesus founded the Catholic Church. And I trust Jesus because I believe that He is our Savior. My Medjugorje experience was extremely helpful to affirm my trust in Jesus and my love for the Church.
I would also like to correct the first commenter. Franciscans at Medjugorje are NOT heretical nor schismatic. Very few Franciscans in Herzegovina area are schismatic (but not heretical). Those at Medjugore (as well as in the most of Herzegovina) are loyal and obedient to the Church. Few of them are very holy people, too.

Ed Peters April 21, 2010 at 6:21 am

David Maria Jaeger is a respected canonist.

Mike May 11, 2010 at 9:45 pm

The apparitions and messages of Medjugorge seem questionable.
However, there is mostly positive that I have seen coming from people visiting there. Going to Confession for the first time in years, going to Mass, praying the Rosary, a conversion of the heart, healing relationships
These are positive things
The Croats in Herzegovina are good entrepeneurs and there is a kitschy or temple market feel to some extent with all the stores and baubles—but the Croats are no schismatic and have defended the faith at the cusp of Western Civilization against Islam, Serbia and Communism and still remained loyal to Rome.

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